Northern Italy In Lockdown

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Italian prime minister made an announcement in the early morning hours on Sunday that Northern Italy has been placed in lockdown until early April.

The quarantine will essentially close the Lombardy and parts of nearby other provinces that are the heart of Italy’s industrialized north, including cities such as Milan and Venice.

Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times (access their piece here):

Italy’s government is taking the extraordinary step of locking down entire sections of the country’s north, restricting movement for a quarter of the population in a sweeping effort to fight the coronavirus not seen outside of China.

“We are facing an emergency, a national emergency,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in announcing the government decree in a news conference after 2 a.m.

Funerals and cultural events are all banned under the measures. The decree requires that people keep a distance of at least one meter from one another at sporting events, bars, churches and supermarkets.

Here’s the order:

Download (PDF, 3.37MB)

Conclusion

These are quite drastic measures and interesting to see how the Italian government can force its citizens to involuntarily not to leave or move within the designated area of Northern Italy.

Surely citizens of other countries are allowed to leave? Do the airports in the area such as Milan’s Malpensa stay open? What about the rail links? I am sure that we will learn more later today or Monday.

This latest development surely kills any hopes of Northern Italy’s tourism sector to have at least somewhat normal second half of 2020.

I was thinking of going back to Venice for a week or so this May as the hotel rates are rather reasonable at the moment. Let’s hope that the Northern Region is soon back in business.

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