WASHINGTON — Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Monday night a new government decree will require all people in Italy to demonstrate they need to work, have health conditions or other limited legitimate reasons to travel outside their home areas.
According to the Associated Press, Conte told reporters “there won’t be just a red zone," the prime minister said “there will be Italy," emphasizing that it will be the entire country that is becoming a protected area.
As the BBC's Rome Correspondent Mark Lowen reported, this is no longer just a red zone in the north - this is for all of Italy. Guardian reporter Daniel Medina wrote on twitter, "all of Italy's *60 million* people now are under lockdown".
The BBC reported that Italy's coronavirus outbreak surged again Monday with cases numbering over 9,000. All ski resorts had been ordered to close. Deaths had soared up to 463 by Monday. If people tried to access the exclusion zone without a permit, they were subject to fines or imprisonment. It is not certain now what punishment for movement people in Italy will face now that the protected area has expanded across the entire country.
Monday's decree came the same day it was announced that the first COVID-19 patient in the northern Italy cluster is breathing on his own for the first time since he tested positive.
The 38-year-old named Mattia was moved out of intensive care Monday. He tested positive Feb. 21 and opened Italy’s health care crisis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.