As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus rises across Italy, the country’s Prime Minister expanded the lockdown to the entire nation.
According to The Washington Post, Italy now has the most coronavirus cases in the world outside China and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Monday he has shut down the country to inbound tourism.
As for domestic travel, Italians are being asked to stay inside unless they have work or for emergencies. In addition, all public gatherings and sporting events will be temporarily suspended to halt the spread of the viral infection.
The new rules were implemented Tuesday and last until at least April 3.
“The right decision today is to stay at home,” Conte told local media outlets during a press conference. “Our future and the future of Italy is in our hands. These hands have to be more responsible today than ever before.”
Over the weekend, Italian officials announced a lockdown of the Lombardy region, which has been one of the areas hit the hardest by the virus. The decision to lock down the entire country came after deaths associated with coronavirus jumped by 97 on Monday to 463.
Earlier this month, U.S. officials urged Americans not to travel to the regions of Lombardy and Veneto, causing airlines across the U.S. to alter their schedules, including American Delta and United airlines.
While travel to Italy has been shut down, the industry is raising awareness that there are a handful of facts to consider before canceling any plans or ruling out travel entirely.
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