“We’re still a long way from the end”: Italy PM extends lockdown to April 13

ON Wednesday evening, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that current lockdown measures in the country that were due to expire on April 3 would be extended until April 13. 

Italy is beginning to see a reduction in the number of new coronavirus cases, but the death toll is still high. In his address to the nation, Conte said, “We’re still a long way from the end, and therefore I’ve decided to sign a decree extending the measures until April 13.”

Since March 12, Italians have been abiding by strict lockdown regulations which have closed all non-essential businesses in the country. Italians can only leave the house for viable reasons including food shopping and health issues, and must complete a self-declaration form in order to do so. 

Conte has warned that despite announcing this extension of the lockdown, he couldn’t say when the definite end point would be. “The conditions aren’t right for me to say it will end on the 14th,” he said, and explained that lockdown restrictions would have to be lifted gradually. 

Italy is now in its fourth week of quarantine and the strain is beginning to show. Conte recently permitted parents to take children out for a “short walk” near home, though bike rides and outdoor games are still not allowed. Concerns are growing about how the poorer south of the country will cope with slashed incomes. 

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Rebecca Ann Hughes

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