(WILX) – Four regions of Italy will be isolated with strict restrictions on when people can leave their homes.
The lockdown aims to curb the spike in coronavirus cases that the country has seen and prevent hospitals from overcrowding.
“Our intensive care capacity could run out in a matter of weeks, we have to step in,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said at a press conference to describe the package that took effect on Friday.
The restrictions began Friday for 16.5 million Italians and will last for at least two weeks. With the exception of very few exceptions, no one can leave or enter Italy’s “red zone”.
Conte said the red zone would consist of the northern region of Lombardy and its neighboring Piedmont, along with Calabria in Italy’s southern foothills and the small mountainous region of Valle D’Aosta. The cities of Milan and Turin in northern Italy are under lockdown.
Europe has seen a 43% jump in deaths from COVID-19. France, Germany and Ireland have all implemented lockdowns recently.
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