Italy has started to "stay at home" under a three-day strict nationwide lockdown before Easter to deter travel and help prevent a new surge of COVID-19 infections.
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 instituted 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.
Italy has administered 10.8 million vaccines, though only 3.3 million of the country’s 60 million people have received both doses.
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