The prime minister of Italy announced the country will enter an extended period of strict lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking to Italian citizens on Thursday evening, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, “It’s clear this will be a Christmas that is different from others,” adding that officials in the country will ban travel through the nation over the holiday season.
The travel ban within the country’s 20 regions will begin on Dec. 21 and last through Jan. 6. The prime minister urged residents of the country to cancel holiday plans, arguing the precaution would help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Conte made the announcement on the same day that Italian health officials recorded the highest number of total deaths in a day, 993 people, eclipsing March 27, when 919 died from complications arising from the disease.
Conte said that although the holiday season will be unlike any other, it would still be “no less authentic” than holidays past.