Italy expands lockdown, Israel tightens entry to halt virus

SOAVE, Italy — Italy has expanded its travel ban to the entire country while Israel has ordered all visitors quarantined just weeks before Passover and Easter.

As workers in Beijing returned to their jobs and new infections in China continued to subside, Italians are navigating the changing parameters of the nation’s self-imposed lockdown.

“There won’t be just a red zone,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, in announcing that a lockdown covering about 16 million people in the north would be expanded to the entire country starting today, March 10.

Travellers at Milan’s main train station had to sign police forms self-certifying that they are travelling for “proven work needs,” situations of necessity, health reasons or to return home. Ski lifts were ordered to close after students whose classes were cancelled began organizing trips to winter resorts.

Italy’s 9,172 cases and 463 deaths are the second-most in the world. China on Tuesday recorded just 19 new cases over the previous 24 hours, its lowest total since it began reporting national figures on Jan. 20.

Meanwhile Israel says it will quarantine anyone arriving from overseas for 14 days.

Sabrina Moras with the Italian National Tourism Board in Toronto (ENIT) says her office is continuing to monitor the situation in Italy. “Things may change by May, we will continue to monitor it and keep our travelers informed.”


With file from The Associated Press