Italy will be in lockdown over Easter as the country struggles to contain the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Starting Monday, Italians in the most populous regions will be required to stay home except for work, health, or other basic reasons.
The entire country will be closed for Easter holidays for the second year in a row from April 3-5.
Cases have risen across the country by more than 25,000 a day in the past six weeks, as the Italian vaccination campaign was delayed.
Officials warn that they are backing fast in the battle against the highly contagious new variants.
Only 3 percent of the country was vaccinated, it said Johns Hopkins University data.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi said: “Italy delivers around 170,000 doses per day – our goal is to triple that.”
“Only through vaccinations so widespread can we dispense with restrictions like the ones we had to adopt.”
More than 100,000 Italians have died from complications from the Corona virus, the second-highest toll in Europe after the United Kingdom.
Unlike last yearWhen Italy becomes the first western province to implement a nationwide lockdown, officials will allow limited visits by friends and relatives during the Easter holidays.
The Easter Pope Pope Francis will likely be held early so that worshipers can observe the 10 p.m. curfew.
Italians were also ordered in non-essential jobs Stay indoors During most of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
“I hope this will be the last sacrifice that our citizens are asking for,” said Lombardian President Attilio Fontana.
Italian health officials on Friday approved a single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The doses will be delivered within a month, which commanders said will aid efforts to combat the troop surge.