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Whole of Italy put on lockdown to halt spread of coronavirus

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A waiter stands by empty tables outside a restaurant at St Mark's Square after the Italian government imposed a virtual lockdown on the north of Italy including Venice to try to contain a coronavirus outbreak, in Venice, Italy, March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

A waiter stands by empty tables outside a restaurant at St Mark’s Square (Picture: Reuters)

The whole of Italy is being put on lockdown in a bid to try and stop the spread of coronavirus.

A ban on public gatherings will now extend to the entire country while cinemas, theatres, gyms and pubs will be closed. Funerals and weddings will not take place while schools and universities will remain closed until April 3.

People have been told to remain at home and movement is banned except for work and emergency reasons. Those who want to travel outside the areas where they live will have to demonstrate a valid reason.

The new measures will take effect from tomorrow morning.

Rome like you have never seen it before. Italy s capital, a huge tourist destination, which never lacks on people rain or shine, all year long, is totally empty because of coronavirus fears. Empty squares, streets and tourist attractions from the Spanish steps, the Colosseum, the Trevi fountain, St Peter s square and Basilica, the Pantheon, Campo de Fiori market, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo the Quirinale (Rome s white house) where the president lives, the high end luxury shopping street Via Condotti& the eternal city is EMPTY, no tourists, no locals, who are staying home with their children, since schools, kinder garden and universities are closed. Taxis and horse carriages are waiting for clients who never show up. The whole economy is suffering. The only people you see are police, Carabinieri, military, the president s guards and some city workers who keep the city clean wearing masks. The few lone tourists take Selfies, with no one in them. Museums, exhibits and the Vatican are closed. Also lots of shops are closed down for holidays (so they write on their signs) for the next 3 to 4 weeks til mid April. 09 Mar 2020 Pictured: Spanish steps. Photo credit: ugpix / MEGA TheMegaAgency.com +1 888 505 6342

Tourist attractions were deserted (Picture: Mega)

Police officers and soldiers check passengers leaving from Milan main train station, Italy, Monday, March 9, 2020. Italy took a page from China's playbook Sunday, attempting to lock down 16 million people ??? more than a quarter of its population ??? for nearly a month to halt the relentless march of the new coronavirus across Europe. Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte signed a quarantine decree early Sunday for the country's prosperous north. Areas under lockdown include Milan, Italy's financial hub and the main city in Lombardy, and Venice, the main city in the neighboring Veneto region. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Police officers and soldiers check passengers leaving from Milan main train station (Picture: AP)

Police officers and soldiers check passengers leaving from Milan main train station, Italy, Monday, March 9, 2020. Italy took a page from China's playbook Sunday, attempting to lock down 16 million people ??? more than a quarter of its population ??? for nearly a month to halt the relentless march of the new coronavirus across Europe. Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte signed a quarantine decree early Sunday for the country's prosperous north. Areas under lockdown include Milan, Italy's financial hub and the main city in Lombardy, and Venice, the main city in the neighboring Veneto region. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

People will be asked their reasons for travel (Picture: AP)

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte said public transport will remain open.

It comes as Italy recorded a jump in the number of coronavirus deaths of almost 100 in a day, from 366 yesterday to 463 today. The total number of cases in Italy has gone up to 9,172 from 7,375 meaning the nation now has the largest amount of infected people outside of China.

Some 733 people were in intensive care against a previous 650.

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