Italian authorities tightened up measures to ban public gatherings, which includes the Venice’s famed carnival, in an attempt to contain the rapidly soaring number of new Coronavirus infections in the country.
Veneto regional Gov. Luca Zaia announced that, “The ordinance is immediately operative and will go into effect at midnight.”
The Venice carnival is one of the many sites that are included on the ban, as it draws hundreds and thousands of visitors to the lagoon city.
Other public venues affected include museums, schools and universities, and will be shut down until March 1 at least.
Three people have tested positive with the novel virus in Venice, all of them are in their late 80s and are hospitalized in critical condition.
Almost all of the 133 cases reported are centered on Northern Italy that includes the Veneto region.
Lombardy reported the biggest jump in confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 89 cases that are mostly in small towns in the countryside.
People from Lombardy and Veneto are strongly advised to stay indoors, although the police stationed at the entrance to Codogno were not stopping cars from entering and leaving.
Sunday routines loved by the Italians are affected as well, as all sports event in the northern areas were cancelled.
Bishops in northern Italy also issues directives that communion wafers shall be placed in the hands and not directly in their mouths, and that the holy water fonts are to be kept empty.
It is also advised that congregants shall refrain from exchanging kisses or shaking hands during the Sign of the Peace ritual.
Recent reports have declared two deaths among the 133 cases, and both are elderly persons in the north.
The authorities have identified Italy’s first cases, a married Chinese couple who when to Rome for a vacation.