Italy to Shut Shops and Schools Again Due To the Covid-19 Pandemic
Published On:March 15, 2021
On Monday, much of Italy will be closed to the public, with Prime Minister Mario Draghi warning of a "new wave" of the coronavirus epidemic. There will be a complete shutdown over Easter weekend, April 3-5. Italy, which implemented one of the first national lockdowns a year ago, is once again battling the rapid spread of infections. More than 100,000 people have died as a result of Covid, second only to the United Kingdom in Europe. The vaccination campaign in Italy has been hampered by delays, as has been the case in the European Union. AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm, has announced a further reduction in the amount of vaccine it may supply to the European Union, citing export limits imposed by some countries as the reason. It didn't go into detail.
In January, it reported a major reduction in the 100 million doses it had intended to supply to the EU by March, resulting in a public spat with the European Commission. To counter vaccine shortages, the Italian government last week blocked the sale of 250,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia. Bulgaria, Denmark, and Norway have all placed the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on hold due to concerns that it could cause blood clots. More than half of Italy, including the two most populated regions of Rome and Milan, will close their schools, stores, and restaurants on Monday. Except for work, health, or other necessary reasons, residents would be forced to remain at home. The additional restrictions would last until Easter, according to Mr. Draghi's office, and the nation would be transformed into a high-risk "red zone" over the Easter weekend.