Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday announced the extension of the almost-total lockdown imposed nationwide until May 3, as the hard-hit country continues to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.   

The strict lockdown measures, which force most Italian businesses to remain closed and forbid people to leave their homes, if not for essential reasons, were due to end on April 13th.

In a televised press conference, Conte said the decision – part of a new emergency decree — follows wide consultations with scientists, regional and business leaders. Just a few activities will be allowed to reopen from April 14

Read more: Italy gov't extends coronavirus lockdown until May 3