Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Monday that he is expanding travel restrictions to encapsulate the entire country in an attempt to stop the coronavirus from continuing to proliferate throughout the nation and beyond.
“There is no more time, tough measures are needed,” said Conte at a Monday evening press conference regarding the nation’s coronavirus epidemic, according to a report by La Repubblica.
As the prime minister made his announcement regarding additional travel restrictions, the death toll in Italy continues to rise, with 97 more deaths in just the last 24 hours.
Newly released data from Civil Protection shows that Italy has suffered a total of 9,172 cases of coronavirus and 463 deaths, bringing the nation’s death toll from 366 on Sunday to 463 on Monday.
On Saturday night, the Italian government had quarantined 16 million people in the country’s northern region of Lombardy — the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak — as well as other provinces in neighboring regions.
Now, Italy is expanding its travel restrictions nationwide in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
“There won’t just be a red zone,” said Conte. “There will be Italy.”
The Italian prime minister added that travel will be prohibited throughout the nation unless people can prove to the government that moving around outside the area in which they live is necessary — such as the need to travel to and from work, or to the hospital.
“We have adopted a new decision based on the presupposition that there is no time,” said Conte. “The numbers tell us that we are having a significant growth of infections, of the people hospitalized in intensive and sub-intensive care, and also of deceased people.”
“Our habits therefore must be changed,” added the prime minster. “They must be changed now.”
“I have decided to take even more stringent, stronger measures, immediately,” said Conte. “I am about to sign a measure that we can summarize as, ‘stay at home.’ There will no longer be a red zone on the peninsula. All of Italy will be a protected area.”
“The right decision today is to stay home,” affirmed Conte. “Our future is in our hands.”