Milan Shuts Down Schools, Tightens Curbs on Surging Covid Cases

Almost one year after the Italian financial capital became the first European region to enter into a hard lockdown, the city is facing again major restrictions.

All schools will be closed until March 14. No one will be able to leave town if not for business and health reasons. Milan citizens won’t be allowed to reach their holiday houses. Bars and restaurants will remain closed while shops can stay open.

The Lombardy region around Milan will be put under the so-called “reinforced orange” alert from midnight, according to a statement. Italy has a three-tier system in place that classifies regions by low, medium and high-risk based on the numbers of cases.

The decision follows a surge in cases in the original epicenter of the pandemic in Europe. Daily coronavirus infections in the country reached a two-month high Wednesday. Italy is nearing 3 million cases since the beginning of the outbreak last year as deaths may pass the grim milestone of 100,000 in the next few days.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi this week appointed a new czar to coordinate the government’s action on the coronavirus pandemic as his government seeks to speed up the vaccination campaign in the country. Draghi is working on an overhaul of the country’s slow and uneven vaccination campaign, focusing on logistics and recruiting the military to help.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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