Italy: All stores except supermarkets and pharmacies will close

With the decision, announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Italy has engineered nearly as thorough a commercial halt as seems imaginable.

Once the decree takes effect — Conte did not specify when — only the most essential parts of society will continue to function. Farms can still produce food, and factories can still churn out products, but people will have almost no reason to leave the house.

“You’re changing your life’s habits, making sacrifices, but these renunciations are offering a great, precious contribution to the country,” Conte said. “Italy is showing it’s a great community, united and responsible.”

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