Rome restaurants packed ahead of lockdown

Last-minute dash to hairdressers as people fill restaurants for last hurrah before lockdown.

Rome's restaurants and bars are full today as friends and families gather to meet up for a last meal or aperitivo before the Lazio region goes into lockdown on Monday 15 March.

Hairdressers and barbers are also doing a roaring trade, with some of them deciding to open on Sunday, before they are forced to close their doors next week due to the latest covid-19 measures.

There is heavy traffic towards the coast near Rome where restaurants are fully booked as people enjoy the warm sunshine, and the capital has postponed this weekend's traffic-free Sunday.

Police are monitoring the situation in coastal areas and parks as well as in Rome's main shopping streets, with the city recently banning mini-markets from selling alcohol after 18.00.

The area around the Trevi Fountain and a section of the central Via del Corso were closed to pedestrians late on Saturday afternoon, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Since last night there have even been reports of queues and people emptying supermarket shelves - with yeast suddenly back in demand - despite the fact that food shops will remain open as normal when Rome becomes a zona rossa on Monday.

Photo La Repubblica