Italy is set to lock down at least 16 million people in the region of Lombardy and in 11 other provinces in the north and east of the country.
The mandatory quarantine will last until early April.
The dramatic escalation in the country’s efforts to contain the new deadly coronavirus will close gyms, pools, museums and ski resorts.
Italy is Europe’s worst-hit country and reported a steep rise in virus infections on Saturday.
The new measures, which also apply to financial centre Milan and tourist hotspot Venice, could take effect as early as Sunday and will last until 3 April.
The death toll in Italy has passed 230, with officials reporting more than 50 deaths in 24 hours. The number of confirmed cases jumped by more than 1,200 to 5,883 on Saturday.
The measures published in a draft government decree were obtained by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
They are set to be signed in the coming hours, reports the BBC’s Mark Lowen.
The whole northern region of Lombardy, home to 10 million people and Italy’s financial centre Milan, will be closed off except to emergency access, and 11 provinces including Venice, Parma and Modena will be affected – a total of 16 million people.
Until now around 50,000 people in northern Italy had been affected by quarantine measures.
What are the measures?
Night clubs, gyms, swimming pools, museums and ski resorts will be closed.
Restaurants and cafes can open but customers must sit at least a metre apart.
People will be told to stay home as much as possible, and those who break the quarantine could face three months in jail.
Sports competitions will close to the public, and the president of Italy’s football players’ union has called for all football to stop.
The World Health Organization has advised Italy to strongly focus on virus containment measures as infections spread in the country.
The plans echo China’s forced quarantine of millions of people which the WHO has praised for halting the spread of the virus.
Leading Italian politician Nicola Zingaretti said on Saturday he had tested positive for the virus.
“I am fine but I will have to stay home for the next few days,” the leader of Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) said in a Facebook post.
The country has said it will start recruiting retired doctors in an effort to combat the escalating outbreak.
Elsewhere, Iran has confirmed almost 6,000 infections and 145 deaths, and the number of cases worldwide has passed 100,000, officials say.
A second MP was reportedly among those to have died in Iran, where health officials fear the number of cases may actually be much higher.
Urgent measures to contain the contagion in the Lombardy region and in the provinces of
Provinces of Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini; Pesaro and Urbino; Venice,
Padua, Treviso; Asti and Alessandria) coronavirus
1. In order to counter and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Lombardy region and in the provinces of Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Venice, Padua, Treviso, Asti and Alessandria are adopted the following measures:
a) absolutely avoid any movement into and out of the territories referred to in this article, as well as within the same territories referred to in this article, except for movements motivated by indifferent working needs or emergency situations;
b) subjects with symptoms of respiratory infection and fever (greater than 37.5 ° C) are strongly recommended to stay at their home and to limit social contacts as much as possible, by contacting their doctor;
c) absolute prohibition of mobility from their home or dwelling for subjects subjected to the quarantine measure or positive to the virus;
d) sporting events and competitions of any order and discipline are suspended, in public or private places. The aforementioned events and competitions, as well as the training sessions of competitive athletes, are allowed inside sports facilities used behind closed doors, or outdoors without the presence of the public. In all such cases, the associations and sports clubs, by means of their medical staff, are required to carry out the appropriate checks to contain the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus among athletes, technicians, managers and all accompanying persons.
who participate. Basic sports and motor activities in general, carried out outdoors are allowed only on condition that it is possible to allow respect for the interpersonal distance of a metrod) public and private employers are recommended to anticipate, during the period of effectiveness of this decree, the use by employees of ordinary leave or holidays;
e) the lifts in the ski areas are closed;
f) all organized events are suspended, as well as events in public or private places, including those of a cultural, recreational, sporting and religious nature, even if held in closed places but open to the public, such as, for example, major events, cinemas, theaters, pubs, dance schools, game rooms, betting rooms and bingo halls, discos and similar places; in these places all activities are suspended;
g) the opening of places of worship is conditional on the adoption of organizational measures such as to avoid gatherings of people, taking into account the size and characteristics of the places, and such as to ensure that visitors can respect
the distance between them of at least one meter. Civil and religious ceremonies are suspended, including funeral ones;
h) the educational services for children referred to in article 2 of the legislative decree of 13 April 2017, n. 65 and didactic activities in schools of all levels, as well as the frequency of school and higher education activities, including universities and institutions of advanced artistic, musical and choreutic training, professional courses,
masters, courses for health professions and university for the elderly, without prejudice in any case to the possibility of carrying out distance learning activities, with the exception of courses for doctors in specialized training and specific training courses in general medicine, as well as the activities of trainees in the health professions. maintain the social distancing, any other form of alternative aggregation is to be excluded;
i) the museums and other cultural institutes and places referred to in article 101 of the code of cultural and landscape assets, pursuant to Legislative Decree 22 January 2004, no. 42;
j) public and private insolvency procedures are suspended with the exception of cases in which candidates are assessed exclusively on a curricular basis or electronically; competitions for health personnel, including state and qualification exams to practice the profession of surgeon, and those for civil protection personnel, which must preferably take place remotely or are excluded from the suspension. otherwise, guaranteeing the interpersonal safety distance of one meter;
k) restaurant and bar activities are permitted, with the operator’s obligation to enforce the interpersonal safety distance of at least one meter, with the sanction of suspension of the activity in case of violation;
l) commercial activities other than those referred to in the previous letter are permitted, provided that the operator guarantees access to the aforementioned places in a quota manner or in any case suitable for avoiding gatherings of people, taking into account
the size and characteristics of the premises open to the public, and such as to guarantee visitors the possibility of respecting the distance of at least one meter between visitors, with the sanction of suspension of the activity in case of violation. In the presence of structural or organizational conditions that do not allow compliance with the distance of
interpersonal security of one meter, the aforementioned structures must be closed);
m) accompanying patients are prohibited from staying in the waiting rooms of the emergency and reception departments and emergency rooms (DEA / PS), unless specifically indicated otherwise by the health personnel in charge;
n) the access of relatives and visitors to hospitality and long-term care facilities, assisted healthcare residences (RSA), hospices, rehabilitation structures and residential structures for the elderly, self-sufficient and non self-sufficient, is limited to the cases indicated by the health management only
the facility, which is required to take the necessary measures to prevent possible transmission of infection;
o) ordinary leave of health and technical personnel, as well as of personnel whose activities are necessary to manage the activities required by crisis units set up at regional level, are suspended;
p) in all possible cases, in the course of meetings or meetings, remote connection methods with particular reference to health and socio-sanitary structures, public utility services and coordinations activated in the context of the emergency COVID-19 are adopted, however ensuring respect for the interpersonal safety distance of one meter and avoiding gatherings;
q) on medium-term and festive days, medium and large sales structures are closed, as well as the shops inside the shopping centers and markets. On weekdays, the manager of the aforementioned exercises must in any case ensure compliance with the interpersonal safety distance of one meter, with the sanction of suspension of the activity in case of violation.
In the presence of structural or organizational conditions that do not allow observance of the interpersonal safety distance of one meter, the aforementioned structures must be closed. The closure is not available for pharmacies, parapharmacies and food outlets, whose manager is however required to ensure compliance with the interpersonal safety distance of one meter, with the sanction of suspension of the activity in case of violation;
r) the activities of gyms, sports centers, swimming pools, swimming centers, wellness centers, spas (except for the provision of services falling within the essential levels of assistance), cultural centers, social centers, recreation centers are suspended. coronavirus
Art. 2 (Execution and monitoring of the measures)
1. The territorially competent prefect, informing the Minister of the Interior in advance, ensures the execution of the measures referred to in Article 1, and monitors the implementation of the remaining measures by the competent administrations. The prefect, where necessary, makes use of the police forces, with the possible assistance of the national fire department, as well as the armed forces, having heard the competent territorial commands, notifying the President of the region and of the autonomous province concerned.
2. Unless the fact constitutes a more serious offense, failure to comply with the measures referred to in this decree is punished pursuant to article 650 of the penal code as provided for by article 3, paragraph 4, of the decree-law of 23 February 2020, n. 6.
1. The provisions of this decree have their effect from 8 March 2020 and are effective until 3 April 2020.
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