Italy Places Millions Of People On Lockdown In Effort To Contain Virus

Thousands of people in northern Italy crowded in train stations to escape before the quarantine began.

Italy Places Millions Of People On Lockdown In Effort To Contain Virus
AP / Claudio Furlan

Italy's government has placed millions of people in the northern part of the country on lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

Italy's prime minister signed the decree early Sunday. It affects the Lombardy region and 14 provinces, encompassing about a quarter of the population. Milan and Venice — both popular travel destinations — are in the affected region. Anyone who wants to travel out of the confined area will have to get special permission.

The restrictions will be in place until April 3. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte acknowledged, "We understand that these measures will impose sacrifices, sometimes small and sometimes very big."

When news of the decree got out, thousands of people in Italy's north crowded into train stations to escape before the quarantine began. 

Schools and all public events in the area are canceled during the quarantine. Other public spaces like nightclubs, gyms and museums are also forced to close.

Over 109,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed around the globe, and the death toll has hit almost 4,000. Italy is the hardest hit European country. More than 7,000 cases have been confirmed in the country, and over 300 people have died. Over 600 have recovered. 

Contains footage from CNN.