Late last night Prime Minister Conte intervened with a new speech to the nation, during which he announced the new anti-contagion lock-down.
“The most difficult crisis the country is experiencing”
At the beginning of his speech, the Prime Minister defined the Coronavirus emergency as: “The most difficult crisis that our country has been experiencing since the second post-war period. In these very hard days we have to measure ourselves with images and news that wound us and leave us a mark that will remain etched in our memory forever even when this is all over”. In his speech, the premier also stressed the drama of the emergency, which is causing deaths throughout Italy. “The death of many fellow citizens – he said – is a pain that every day is renewed. For us, for the values we grew up with and that we still share today, these deaths, are not just simple numbers. We cry people, stories of families who have lost the dearest loved ones“.
Prime Minister Conte: “Let’s respect the rules”
The Prime Minister urged all citizens, once again, to comply with the measures enacted since the beginning of the emergency. “We must continue to respect all the rules with patience, responsibility and trust”: he underlined. “There’s no other way. At this moment we must resist because only only by doing this will we be able to protect ourselves and the people we love”. Conte also reminded those who, in these days, are carrying out their business to guarantee services needed by the citizen in these times of serious emergency.
“Our sacrifice to stay at home is minimal when compared to the sacrifice that other citizens are making. In hospitals, in places crucial for the life of the country, there are those who risk much more. I am thinking in particular of doctors, nurses. But I also think of the police and the armed forces, the men and women of the Civil Protection, the shop assistants, the drivers, the workers of the public services and information. Women and men who are not simply going to work. But every day they perform an act of great responsibility towards the nation. They perform an act of love towards the whole of Italy. Today we decided to take another step forward” –he said.
Restrictions announced by the Prime Minister
In last night’s speech, made live on Facebook, Conte announced the new restrictions. “The decision is to close, in the whole national territory, any productive activity that is not extremely necessary. All supermarkets, all grocery stores and basic necessities stores will continue to remain open. So be careful: we have not produced any restrictions on the opening days of supermarkets “.
And, during his announcement, he turned again to the Italians: “I invite everyone to stay calm. There is no reason to make the rush to shop, there is no reason to create queues that at this moment are not justified at all” – he recalled. Pharmacies and parapharmacies will also remain open. Banking, postal, insurance and financial services will continue to be insured. Essential public services will be ensured, such as transport and related and functional activities to those essential. “Beyond the essential activities, – he explained further – we will only allow smart working and the productive activities relevant for national production”.
“A not easy decision, but it prepares us to face the most acute phase”
“We slow down the production engine of the country but we do not stop it”: said the premier. “It is not an easy decision, but it allows us and prepares us to face the most acute phase of the infection”. And then, before concluding, he addressed a final message to the population. “Never before has our community tightened, like a chain, to protect the most important asset: life. If if a link in the chain were to break, this protection barrier would cease, exposing us to greater dangers for everyone. We are giving up our dear habits and we do it because we love Italy, but we do not give up the courage and hope of the future. Together, we can get through this”.