Coronavirus: Italy extends nationwide quarantine until May 3
Italy is extending the nationwide COVID-19 quarantine until May 3, but will reopen bookstores and children's shops starting April 14, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the country updated its coronavirus case count by 3,951 to 147,577. The death toll in the country -- the highest in the world -- has risen by 570 to 18,849.
"We have prepared a decree to extend the restrictive measures until May 3. This is a difficult and necessary decision for which I take full political responsibility," Conte said at a press conference.
According to the prime minister, the decision was made after a series of meetings with ministers, experts, local authorities and trade unions.
He added that the epidemiological curve was now giving certain hope and the quarantine was bearing fruit.
The extension of the restrictions applies to production activities, except for the forestry industry.
"We cannot launch everything in full force so far. But I promise that if necessary conditions are in place before May 3, we will try to take action. Starting April 14, bookshops, stationery shops, shops for children newborn and forestry industry will resume," he added.