The Atlantic

Italy Shut Down. Which Country Will Be Next?

Europe and the West are in denial about the compromises that will need to be made.
Source: Alessandro​ Grassani / The New York Times / The Atlantic

“We are out of time,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said yesterday evening. “We have to stay home.” With those words, he announced the most stringent restrictions on freedom of movement imposed in Europe since the Second World War: 60 million Italians can now move around only for pressing reasons of work, health, or other extenuating necessity—and then only with written permission.

Conte’s announcement was a nationwide extension of the day before for swaths of Italy’s north. And it was nothing less than a game changer. Italy, Europe’s fourth-largest economy, has the highest number of cases of the novel coronavirus outside of China, a figure that is . These restrictions are an attempt to

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