In Italy, the number of deaths from the novel corona virus has skyrocketed. The death toll rose by 133 to 366 within 24 hours, the Italian authorities said on Sunday evening. The number of confirmed infections is now 7375, 1492 more than on Saturday.
Italy has the most confirmed coronavirus infections after China with 80,000 cases. South Korea is in third place. The country is behind Italy with 62 infections.
Italy has carried out around 50,000 tests for the corona virus since the outbreak began. Most cases were in the north, especially Lombardy. The government ordered the closure of northern Italian regions on Sunday, affecting 16 million people.
In the fight against the virus, the government in Italy drastically restricted the freedom of movement of around 16 million citizens in the north. In the fight against the spread of the corona virus, the country largely blocks off the economically strong region of Lombardy and 14 other provinces. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Sunday morning, as the Ansa news agency reported. He signed the relevant decree.
This affects the metropolis of Milan and the tourist stronghold Venice as well as Parma in the Emilia-Romagna region. Conte also confirmed far-reaching bans across the country. All cinemas, theaters, museums, sports clubs, demonstrations and many other events must close or fail.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Sunday night that people in the affected regions were only allowed to get out of or into the region if there were good reasons. However, it was unclear how exactly the controls should take place and how, for example, tourists can leave.
The government’s new announcements are likely to further change the everyday lives of around 60 million citizens after the measures already taken, such as nationwide school closings, are already affecting many every day. “We are facing a national emergency,” said Conte. “We fought them with maximum precautionary measures right from the start,” he added. “We have two goals: to contain the spread of the infection and to avoid overloading the hospital facilities.”
According to the Ansa news agency, Conte said mobility would not be stopped entirely. So there is no stop for flights and trains. But a trip must have a reason and the police can stop people and ask about them. Italian civil defense announced the purchase of 22 million respirators in the evening.
“There is limited mobility”
The new restricted areas should apply from immediately until April 3, newspapers wrote. You should only enter or leave these zones for “serious and inevitable” occasions, such as for work or family reasons, it said. But the brands in the middle of Italy are also there. The list that Conte called consists of: Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano Cusio Ossola, Vercelli, Padua, Treviso and Venice.
Even within the new restricted areas, residents are no longer allowed to move around freely, as the Prime Minister announced. “There is limited mobility,” he said. You should only leave your house for a good reason. Bars and restaurants are only allowed to open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., but only if they ensure that there is a distance of at least one meter between the guests. Times were also restricted for shops.
Italy is the country with the most confirmed Sars-CoV-2 infections in Europe. The number of infected and dead people is increasing steadily despite extensive countermeasures. By Saturday, the authorities counted 5883 people with an infection. 233 people have died. Lombardy is most affected, followed by Emilia-Romagna and Veneto.
In order to get the crisis under control, the government in Rome had previously closed all schools in the country, kindergartens and universities by mid-March.
The Federal Foreign Office in Berlin tried to clarify what the newly imposed measures mean for German travelers and exits from the affected provinces. The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that the German diplomatic missions would be ready to “support Germans in the areas if necessary”. Tourism has slumped in Italy since the crisis broke out.
The World Health Organization has welcomed the drastic quarantine measures in Italy against the spread of the coronavirus. These are “brave” and require “real victims”, WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter on Sunday. “The government and people in Italy are taking bold and daring measures to slow the spread of the corona virus and to protect their country and the world,” he said.
What does the closure of the 15 Italian provinces mean – specifically for business travelers and German vacationers? The answers to the most important questions at a glance:
Which places and regions are affected?
Among other things, the metropolis of Milan, the tourist stronghold of Venice, but also cities like Parma or the seaside resort of Rimini on the Adriatic, which was previously popular with Germans. South Tyrol and the important north-south axis between Austria and Italy – the Brenner motorway – are not affected.
What rules apply?
Entering and leaving the affected regions is only permitted with good reason. At first it was unclear what exactly this means. Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the police can stop people and ask, but they are not “red zones”. The suspensions should initially apply until April 3.
Are Germans now stuck in northern Italy?
No. The Federal Foreign Office announced on Sunday that travel within the specified areas was prohibited, “with the exception of non-deferrable work-related trips or in emergency situations. It is also still possible to return to a place of residence both inside and outside and to travel to Germany. ” The German diplomatic missions in Rome and Milan were in close contact with the Italian authorities, as far as the details were concerned, and followed the development of the practical implementation on site.
How many Germans are there at the moment?
The Federal Foreign Office said on Sunday: “The German consulate general in Milan estimates that there are around 25,000 Germans in his district, but the layout of these does not fully match the areas affected.”
What other recommendations does the Federal Foreign Office make?
The authority currently advises against traveling to the regions declared a restricted zone. In addition, “unnecessary” trips to the autonomous province of Bolzano-South Tyrol in the Trentino-South Tyrol region are also discouraged.
What about rail traffic to Italy?
A spokeswoman for the Deutsche Bahn pointed out that the Austrian Federal Railways (OBB) was responsible for trips to and from Italy. These announced that the night trains to Milan and Venice would be discontinued. The night train to Rome, which starts in Munich, continues. During the day, according to the information, trains continue to Bologna, Udine, Trieste, Verona and Venice, but from Monday only with Italian, no longer with Austrian staff.
And what about air traffic?
Easyjet tweeted on Sunday, you know the reports of restrictions. The connections from and to Milan, Venice or Malpensa are not affected at the moment, one plans normal flight operations. Ryanair tweeted that there are currently no airport closures in northern Italy. Europe’s largest low-cost airline announced a few days ago that it would cancel up to 25 percent of all flights to Italy due to the corona virus in the next few weeks.
What effects are there to fear on the travel industry?
The measures are likely to exacerbate the situation for the industry. The German Travel Association (DRV) is already pointing to a drop in sales of up to 75 percent. “People are unsettled and are currently holding back on bookings,” says association president Norbert Fiebig. The Federal Government’s tourism commissioner, Thomas Bareib, describes the situation as “very serious”. A top round at the Federal Ministry of Economics wants to deal this Monday with the consequences of the Sars CoV-2 spread for tourism.
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