All nonessential factories across Italy must shut down to attempt to halt the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced tonight in an address to the nation on Facebook.
“We decided to take a further step. The government decided to close on the whole national territory all productive activities which are not strictly necessary, crucial, indispensable to ensure essential goods and services,” Conte said.
“We slow down the productive engine of the country, but we don’t stop it,” he added.
The government worked with unions and industrial federations to establish a list of public utility supply chains that won’t be affected by the decision, he said.
Conte also confirmed all supermarkets, groceries, pharmacies, banks, post offices and insurance offices will stay open. All essential services such as public transport will also continue to function.
He also asked Italians to remain calm and said there is no reason to create long queues at shops and panic buy products.
The government will adopt further measures to support the economy, Conte said.