IN PHOTOS: Italy's cities fall silent under new lockdown

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
IN PHOTOS: Italy's cities fall silent under new lockdown
A picture taken on March 15, 2021 in Rome shows the deserted Piazza di Spagna, as three-quarters of Italians entered a strict lockdown as the government put in place restrictive measures to fight the rise of COVID-19 infections. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

The main streets and squares of Italy's biggest cities stood near empty on Monday as a new lockdown came into force.


Schools, restaurants, shops and museums closed across most of Italy on Monday as new rules were enforced amid a new wave of Covid-19 infections.

The whole country, with the exception of Sardinia, is under tough 'red' or 'orange' zone restrictions until at least April 6th.

IN MAPS: How Italy's coronavirus zones change from Monday

Streets are almost empty in front of the Colosseum in central Rome on Monday. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
Police carry out checks on drivers at Piazza Venezia in central Rome on Monday. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Despite the country's immunisation programme recently gathering pace, authorities are concered abot surges in infections fuelled by a Covid-19 variant first detected in Britain.

The streets of central Rome were quiet Monday morning as the new restrictions took hold, which were sure to further bruise businesses already battered by a year of anti-virus measures.

"I didn't expect it. We live from day to day," said barista Ana Cedeno as she prepared take-out coffees for a few customers.


People wait outside a cafe for take-away drinks in Rome. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
The owner of the Cuccagna restaurant in Rome displays a sign advising customers that it's takeaway service only. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

All non-essential shops were closed from Monday, including in Rome and Milan, with residents told to stay home except for work, health or other essential reasons.

Milan's Piazza Duomo on Monday. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
Police officers stand at the entrance of Milan's Galeria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping centre on Monday. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

New restrictions will be in place until at least Easter, when all of Italy would be under 'red' zone restrictions over the weekend of April 3-5, the prime minister's office has confirmed.

The only exception to the restrictions is Sardinia, which is Italy's only "white zone".

The empty square in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo's "Citta Alta".  Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
Bergamo's near-deserted "Citta Alta". Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

On Friday, Draghi thanked Italians for their "infinite patience" and said the new measures would be accompanied by fresh support for families and businesses.

But he acknowledged there would be "consequences for the education of children, for the economy and also for the psychological state of us all".

The empty Piazza Navona in Rome. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
The deserted Via del Corso in Rome. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP


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