Italy goes back into lockdown

Italy went back into lockdown on Monday as Europe battles against a third wave of coronavirus infections.

Shops, schools and restaurants are closed in most of Italy after a recent surge in Covid-19 cases.

It is one of the European countries that has been worst hit by coronavirus, with more than 100,000 deaths, second only to the UK.

Italy's lockdown comes as a number of countries suspend the rollouts of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine over fears the jab is linked to blood clots.

Here are the countries in Europe with the strictest lockdowns:

ITALY

Infections in Italy increased by 10% last week, leading the country back into lockdown from Monday.

Schools and shops are closed in more than half of the country, including Rome and Milan, while there will be a national shutdown over Easter from 3 to 5 April.

Prime minister Mario Draghi announced on Friday that Italy would return to lockdown, meaning people must stay at home except for work, health or essential reasons.

Watch: Italy lockdown leaves Venice deserted

Coronavirus cases have been rising for the past six weeks, reaching more than 25,000 a day.

Seven of the country’s 20 regions have been moved to its most severe tier or restrictions - red - including Lombardy and Lazio comprising Milan and Rome.

CZECH REPUBLIC

According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 1.4 million coronavirus cases and more than 23,300 deaths in the Czech Republic.

Last month, its prime minister Andrej Babis warned of "hellish days ahead".

At the beginning of this month, its government announced a three-week lockdown until 21 March.

Residents have been told to remain at home except for essential travel and they are banned from moving between districts, apart from work.

The only shops that are allowed to open are supermarkets, pharmacies, opticians and florists.

The restrictions follow a state of emergency which has been declared for 30 days between 27 February and 28 March.

FRANCE

At the beginning of this month, French president Emmanuel Macron said a current nationwide curfew would remain in place for another four to six weeks.

Under the restriction, people in France must stay at home from 6pm to 6am.

An 8pm curfew was brought in across France on 15 December but was brought forward to 6pm a month later. An end date for the measure has not yet been set.

A man wearing a protective face mask walks past famous Cafe de Flore closed along with all cafes and restaurants to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris on March 15, 2021. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
A man wearing a face mask walks past a cafe in Paris on Monday. (AFP via Getty Images)

On Sunday, France reported more than 26,000 new daily cases of coronavirus, while the country has had more than 90,000 deaths.

Prime minister Jean Castex said on Sunday the country must do everything it can to avoid another nationwide lockdown.

GREECE

On Friday, the government announced that all schools would close nationwide.

It also placed three more regions in Greece in its top red tier for Covid-19 restrictions.

Greece has a current average of about 2,100 new daily cases of coronavirus.

A lockdown in the capital Athens has been extended until 22 March.

Non-essential shops are also closed and curfews have been in force in Athens and other red zones since February.

Greece has had more than 221,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 7,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

However, it has already started inviting Britons to book their summer holidays there.

SPAIN

A six-month state of alarm is currently in place and is set to run until 9 May.

It allows Spain’s regional governments to introduce their own restrictions, including curfews.

However, Spain’s health minister Carolina Darias said last Friday that the state of alarm could be extended.

The state of alarm imposed a nationwide curfew between 11pm and 6am, although regions can alter these times by one hour.

Last week, Spain announced strict measures on travelling between regions over the Easter period from 26 Match to 9 April.

Watch: More European nations suspend use of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine