Italy is in a complete nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus. Here are the rules all 60 million citizens now have to follow.

  • Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte put the country’s entire population under strict lockdown from Tuesday onwards after the country’s infections zoomed past 9,100 on Monday.
  • The country’s 60 million citizens now face numerous restrictions that affect all aspects of life, including retail, leisure, worship, imprisonment, and travel.
  • Some travel is allowed with police permission, and most shops and restaurants have limited opening hours.
  • Major gatherings such as football matches and university classes are on hold until at least April 3, according to Sky News.
  • Here are seven rules that Italians have been told to live by under the coronavirus lockdown.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Italy entered its first day of a total nationwide lockdown on Tuesday after a dramatic uptick in the number of infections and deaths from the coronavirus.

The number of cases surpassed 9,100 and death toll reached 463 on Monday night, causing the country to surpass South Korea to become the worst-hit country outside China in terms of cases and deaths.

Initially, only the northern region of Lombardy and 14 nearby provinces were included in the lockdown, which began on Sunday. But Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has extended this nationwide. 

Referring to the earlier lockdown in the north, he told reporters at a televised press conference on Monday that the whole country was now under the new measures “There won’t be just a red zone,” he said. “There will be Italy.”

Here are all the rules that Italians now have to follow:

italy coronavirus lockdown
A man wearing a protective face mask walks near the Rome’s Spanish Steps, virtually deserted after a decree orders for the whole of Italy to be on lockdown in an unprecedented clampdown aimed at beating the coronavirus, in Rome, Italy, March 10, 2020.
Remo Casilli/Reuters

1. Don’t go out. Don’t socialize.

Conte described the quarantine policy simply as: “I stay home,” according to the BBC.

Many places where people ordinarily gather in large numbers, such as large sporting events, schools and universities, and even mass, have already been shut down. 

Football matches have been canceled and won’t restart until at least April 3, Sky News reported. But some high-level sports events and training can continue without audiences, The Guardian reported

Gym subscriptions and prepaid cinema and concert tickets have now been rendered useless as most non-essential socializing is now forbidden, The New York Times reported.

Museums, cultural centers, swimming pools, spas, sports halls and ski resorts across the country have also been shut, according to The Guardian.

Italy coronavirus lockdown restaurants
A waiter stands by empty tables outside a restaurant at St Mark’s Square after the Italian government imposed a virtual lockdown on the north of Italy including Venice to try to contain a coronavirus outbreak, in Venice
Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

2. Restaurants, cafes, and shops can only operate if people stay three feet apart.

These businesses are allowed to operate until 6 p.m. as lon as they can guarantee that customers will be distanced by one meter, or 3.2 feet, Sky News reported.

Food stores are allowed to keep regular opening hours, while malls and marketplaces have been told to close at weekends, Sky Nes added.

3. Italians who want to travel must get police permission.

Public transport and airports are continuing to operate, but only essential travel is allowed, the BBC reported.

Permissible travel — including flights — includes a valid work- or family-related reason that cannot otherwise be postponed.

According to Sky News, train travelers must sign police forms attesting to their reasons, and cars are being stopped for police checks.

Italy coronavirus lockdown travel police station
A police officer with protective mask checks people’s documents at Milan’s main train station, following a government decree that has shut down large areas in the north of the country, to stem coronavirus contagion, Milan, Italy March 9, 2020.
Daniele Mascolo/Reuters

4. People accompanying others to the emergency room can no longer wait with them.

They will now need permission to stay in the waiting room with anyone who is visiting hospitals’ emergency departments, Sky News reported.

5. Healthcare workers have to cancel their holidays.

Doctors, nurses, and other medical workers have been told to cancel their leave to help fight the influx of coronavirus patients.

This mirrors China sending thousands of medical workers into Hubei, the province where the outbreak started, to help fight the disease.

6. People with loved ones in jail are either banned from visiting them, or have limited time to do so.

Italy’s restrictions on the northern Lombardy region and 14 neighboring provinces, which came into effect Sunday, also limited or suspended prisoners’ ability to have family visits.

Riots broke out in jails at the weekend as prisoners reacted to the news. Unrest began at jails in Modena, Pavia, Rome, and Foggia, with some prisoners attempting to escape and others setting fires. 

Alessio Scandurra, a spokesman for prisoners’ rights organization Antigone Association, told the Associated Press the unrest was due to frustration at the limited visits as well as anxiety over potential coronavirus infection in confinement. 

Italy prison riot coronavirus
Inmates gather by a barred window at San Vittore Prison as part of a revolt after family visits were suspended due to fears over coronavirus contagion, in Milan, Italy, March 9, 2020. The banner reads “Liberty.”
REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

7. Mortgage repayments, however, have been suspended.

Banks have imposed a moratorium on mortgage repayments, Reuters reported.

The Italian Banking Association, which represents 90% of total banking assets in Italy, said lenders would allow the pause in payments to help companies and households disrupted by the virus and the quarantine.

Italy’s unprecedented lockdown comes as China appears to be turning a corner in the outbreak. The country, which also sealed off almost a dozen cities last month during the virus’ peak, has been recording fewer and fewer new cases every day.

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