ROME — Italy has entered a three-day strict nationwide lockdown to deter Easter travel and help prevent new surges of the coronavirus.
Even though the Health Ministry says the rate of infections is coming down, all regions were placed into the strictest “red zone” lockdown through Monday as a precaution. The lockdown, announced last month, means restrictions on personal movement, with limited travel and visits to relatives. Non-essential shops are closed and restaurants and bars are only open for take-out.
Police set up road checks to ensure people were staying close to home. Extra patrols were ordered up to break up large gatherings in squares and parks, which over Easter weekend are usually packed with picnic goers.
Italy, where the European outbreak began, has recorded 3.6 million cases and more than 110,000 deaths from the coronavirus, more deaths than any other European country but Britain.
It has administered 10.8 million vaccines, though only 3.3 million of the country’s 60 million people have received both doses.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.