The Italian Prime Minister announced on Wednesday evening the closure of shops throughout Italy, “with the exception of those in the food and health sectors”, such as pharmacies. Giuseppe Conte was speaking live on Facebook and on television.
“We are closing shops, bars, pubs, restaurants”, he said in a solemn address. “Home delivery will still be allowed.”
Factories will remain open but with extra security measures. Insurance, banking and postal services will also continue, as will transport and agricultural activities, he announced. According to the Prime Minister, the effects of this measure will be visible “within 14 days”.
“Let’s keep our distance today so that we can embrace each other better tomorrow,” he concluded.
Notably, international chains including Starbucks and Burger King have said they will shutter their shops in the county.
Italy has so far recorded 12,462 cases of contamination and 827 deaths.