Milan, Italy – The Italian government is preventing people entering or leaving Lombardy, the region centred on Milan that is home to the nation's polyurethane machinery manufacturing industry.
The move comes as the country tries to slow the spread of coronavirus. The travel ban affects about 25% of Italy's population.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, has praised Italy for making 'genuine sacrifices' with the restrictions, according to the BBC.
A total of 16m people across Lombardy, and in 14 provinces, need special permission to travel under the new rules. Italy has closed all schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and a range of other venues across the country. The closures will remain in place until at least 3 April.
According Italy's Civil Protection Agency, the number of cases of coronavirus was 7375. This is higher than the number in South Korea, another hotspot outside China.