Italy has imposed sweeping nationwide restrictions on travel and public life, a desperate attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak that looks set to plunge the world’s eighth-largest economy into a steep recession.
The measures announced late Monday include travel restrictions on 60 million residents, a ban on public events, the closure of schools, movie theaters, museums and gyms, and limits on opening hours for restaurants, bars, and shops.
The government took action as the number of deaths caused by coronavirus reached 463 and infections topped 9,000, more than double the number reported in China as a share of the population. The restrictions are in place until at least April 3.
Taken together, the unprecedented measures are likely to push an economy that contracted in the final three months of 2019 into a sharper downturn that will put Italian hotels, travel companies and restaurants under intense pressure