Northern Italy quarantines 16 million people

Italy has placed up to 16 million people under quarantine as it battles to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Anyone living in Lombardy and 14 other central and northern provinces will need special permission to travel. Milan and Venice are both affected.

Schools, gyms, pools, and ski resorts will be closed and all events in “public and private spaces” suspended, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

The drastic measures will last until 3 April.

Last week the government announced the closure of all schools and universities across the country for 10 days.

Italy has seen the largest number of coronavirus cases in Europe and reported a steep rise in infections on Saturday.

The death toll in Italy has passed 230, with officials reporting more than 36 deaths in 24 hours. The number of confirmed cases jumped by more than 1,200 to 5,883 on Saturday.