Italy ordered a virtual lockdown across a swathe of its wealthy north on Sunday, including the financial capital Milan, in a drastic new attempt to try to contain a rapidly growing outbreak of coronavirus.

The unprecedented restrictions, which will impact some 16 million people and stay in force until April 3, were signed into law overnight by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Milan airport authorities said services were so far operating normally, pending official notification of the new measures, while trains were running across the north.

Flights are operating normally from Malpensa and Linate Airports so far on Sunday.

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