March 4, 2020 / 2:37 PM / a month ago

Italy to ban public events to contain coronavirus - draft decree

People train in a local park as gyms are closed as part of measures to try and contain a coronavirus outbreak, in Milan, Italy, March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s government is set to close cinemas and theatres and ban public events across the whole country to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak, according to a draft decree drawn up on Wednesday.

The decree seen by Reuters orders “the suspension of events of any nature... that entail the concentration of people and do not allow for a safety distance of at least one metre (yard) to be respected.”

The draft decree also tells Italians to avoid hugging and shaking hands to prevent as much as possible a further spread of the potentially deadly illness which has been mainly concentrated in the country’s northern regions.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones

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