Italy closes all museums, cinemas and theatres

Italy orders closure of all museums, cinemas and theatres as country attempts to contain spread of Coronavirus.

Italy has ushered in emergency legislation ordering the closure of all museums, cinemas and theatres throughout the country, in a bid to contain the Coronavirus outbreak.

The unprecedented move is part of a decree that puts 16 million people in quarantine in northern Italy, locking down the entire Lombardy region and cities including Milan, Venice and Parma.

The measure, which takes immediate effect and will remain in place until at least 3 April, also means the cancellation of all concerts and public and private events.

In addition it will see the closure of all archaeological sites, archives and libraries throughout Italy.

The move, described by Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini as "painful but necessary", follows an earlier decree ordering the closure of all schools and universities throughout Italy.

The decree comes as the country grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak which so far has recorded more than 5,000 Coronavirus infections and 233 deaths.

In recent days the Italian government issued a set of nationwide guidelines to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus, which are in place for at least a month.

The guidelines include avoiding greeting people with handshakes, hugs or kisses; avoiding crowded places; and using a handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.

Official information

For all official information relating to Coronavirus see Italy's health ministry website.