In Italy, around 90 percent of all COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the wealthy northern regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. The government has ordered that schools and universities must remain closed there for a second week, with large public gatherings still banned in an effort to halt the contagion.
Cinemas, discos and theaters, including Milan’s prestigious La Scala opera house, must remain shuttered for a further week, while museums will be allowed to reopen to a limited number of visitors.
For the first time, a church in the heart of Rome announced that it was closing as a precautionary measure after a priest who had been working there came down with the virus.
One of the hardest hit sectors in Italy is likely to be tourism, which accounts for 13 percent of gross domestic product, with hotels reporting mass cancellations even in cities with few or no COVID-19 patients, such as Rome.