On March 11, 2020, Italy became the first country in Europe to enter a full lockdown. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s first decree authorizing a national lockdown is set to expire on March 25th, but he has now told an Italian newspaper that the measures need to be extended.
Conte made the remarks when speaking to Corriere della Sera on Thursday morning. The Prime Minister noted that the ban on public gatherings and the closures of many businesses and all schools would need to go beyond their originally announced deadlines. However, Conte did not say how long the next phase of the lockdown would last. A government decision is expected in the next few days.
The revelations come after Italy suffered its highest one-day death toll, with 475 deaths on Wednesday alone. Conte suggested that the restrictive measures seem to be working to curb the exponential growth in new infections, but did not speculate on when Italy’s peak might come.
Other government officials have suggested that quarantine measures might need to be tightened. The new measures and extended deadlines are expected to be announced at the same time.