Italy enters third coronavirus lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has sent Italy into a third lockdown.

Half of Italy’s regions – including the two most populous containing Rome and Milan – are facing fresh restrictions in a bid to suppress the latest spike in Covid infections.

Nurseries, schools, and universities will be closed, shops are told to shut and restaurants are only permitted to open for takeaways.

However, outdoor sports will be allowed to continue. But people will only be allowed to travel between regions for work, health or other essential reasons. To do this, they must first fill out a travel permit.

The rest of the country is being placed under a lesser orange level lockdown. Only the island of Sardinia has been designated a white zone given its infection rates.

These new restrictions are a bid to curb the spike in coronavirus cases in the country that has added more pressure to already struggling hospitals.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, Italy has registered 102,145 deaths. This is the second-highest toll in Europe after the UK.

Patients in hospital with COVID – not including those in intensive care – stood at 24,518 on Sunday, rising from 24,153 a day earlier.

There were 243 new admissions to intensive care units, down from 270 on Saturday. The total number of intensive care patients increased to 3,082 from a previous 2,982.

The new restrictions will extend until at least 6 April, the Tuesday after Easter.