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The government of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has ordered the drastic tightening of restrictions across the country in a bid to stem a new wave of COVID-19.
“More than a year after the start of the health emergency, we are unfortunately facing a new wave of infections,” said the Italian Prime Minister on March 12. “The memory of what happened last spring is vivid, and we will do everything to prevent it from happening again.”
The Italian Prime Minister emphasized that over the past week there had been an increase of almost 5,000 new COVID-19 patients in hospitals and 600 in intensive care units.
According to the latest decree signed by the Health Minister Roberto Speranza, the regions of Lombardy, Lazio, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Piedmont, Puglia, Marche, and the province of Trento will move to the most stringent red zone, starting March 15, 2021. All non-essential shops, restaurants, and schools will be ordered to close.
Abruzzo, Tuscany, Calabria, Liguria, Molise, Puglia, Sicily, Umbria, the Aosta Valley and the province of Bolzano will be in the orange zone. Theaters, concert venues, and opera houses will remain closed. The Italian government previously confirmed that all of Italy would be in a full lockdown over the Easter weekend, between April 3 and 5.
Italy recorded 26,790 new Covid-19 cases and another 380 deaths on March 12, 2021.