On March 9th 2020, Italy became the first country other than China to declare a nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
Former Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte made the announcement in a late-night televised address as the coronavirus crisis, which suddenly exploded in the north of the country in late February, was quickly worsening.
Several northern Italian regions had already been placed under lockdown on March 7th, and Italy had already shut down schools and museums in response to the crisis.
The strict lockdown in Italy lasted almost three months.
While all non-essential businesses were shut down and police patrols instructed people to remain indoors, masks were not yet mandatory or even recommended for most people as the disease which came to be called Covid-19 was still little understood.
On the day Italy’s first lockdown was announced, the number of known coronavirus infections in Italy was around 8,000 and the death toll was 463.
A year later, Italy has just passed the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths and there have been more than three million confirmed cases in the country.
Italy has not declared another nationwide lockdown. The country has instead been under a tiered system of regional rules since November.
However, the government is this week considering a second nationwide lockdown, potentially of 3-4 weeks, or other tightened measures as cases are now rising sharply again in the country.
Experts warn that a third wave of infections in Italy is now being fuelled by more infectious new strains of the virus.
A potential second lockdown is a prospect no one will relish, with last year’s closure still fresh in our memories.
Here’s a look back at some of the most striking and unforgettable images we’ve published on The Local during the past year of reporting on lockdowns and other restrictions.