Deserted Italian streets in unprecedented lockdown

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 10, 2020 - Duration: 01:47s

Deserted Italian streets in unprecedented lockdown

Italy woke up to deserted streets in an unprecedented lockdown on Tuesday after the government extended quarantine measures across the entire country.

Joe Davies reports.


Deserted Italian streets in unprecedented lockdown

The usually bustling city streets of Florence were deserted on Tuesday (March 10) morning, the country waking up to a nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

The scene was much the same in the capital Rome.

This is the new norm in Italy, a country of more than 60 million people who've been told to stay at home and only move around if absolutely necessary.

Anyone traveling has to fill in a document declaring their reasons and carry it with them.

It's the only country to enforce such drastic measures on its entire population, and it's not hard to see why.

More than 9,000 people here have tested positive for the virus.

Of those, more than 450 have died.

Bars and restaurants now have to close at 6 p.m.

Large gatherings and outdoor events, including sports, have been banned.

And schools and universities will remain closed until early April.

With many fearful of what is to come, some have chosen to stock up on supplies - a long line building up outside one Rome supermarket on Tuesday (March 10).

Elsewhere, on a cruise ship where 21 people onboard have tested positive for the virus, there were cheers from passengers as it docked in California's San Francisco Bay.

For most of them, the next stage of their journey is two weeks in quarantine.

This is a virus that has spread all over the world.

In Bethlehem, footage has emerged showing officials spraying the streets with disinfectant in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.

Back in Europe, there was embarrassment for Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Just moments after announcing a "no handshake" policy, he shook hands with a health official.

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