Cutomers queue to pay for their food and essential products in a Milan supermarket after Italy prepared to quarantine more than 10 million people around the financial capital Milan and the tourist mecca Venice. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP

Italy has closed museums, theatres, cinemas and other entertainment venues nationwide to fight the spread of the coronavirus, said a decree signed Sunday by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

On top of the forced quarantine of 15 million people in vast areas of northern Italy until April 3, the government has also closed schools, nightclubs and casinos throughout the country, according to the text of the decree published on the government website.

With more than 230 fatalities, Italy has recorded the most deaths from the Covid-19 disease of any country outside China, where the outbreak began in December.

Conte said on Twitter he had signed off on plans to strictly limit movement into and out of a large area including Venice and the financial capital Milan for nearly a month.

“#Coronavirus, the new decree is finally approved,” Conte wrote, confirming reports published by Italy’s Corriere Della Sera newspaper and other media.

The total number of people infected with the virus worldwide has passed 100,000 while 3,500 have died across 95 nations and territories.

According to Corriere Della Sera, without a “serious” reason that cannot be postponed people will not be allowed to enter or leave the entire Lombardy region around Milan, home to 10 million, as well as areas around and including Venice and the cities of Parma and Rimini.

AFP

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