Italy entered a strict three-day lockdown to try to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases over Easter.
All regions are now in the “red zone” – the highest tier of restrictions – as the country battles a third wave, with about 20,000 new cases a day.
Red zone restrictions normally mean all non-essential travel is banned, but over the Easter weekend an exception is being made to allow people to visit friends and relatives within their regions for a holiday meal.
Churches are also open, but worshippers are being told to attend services within their own regions.
For the second year, Pope Francis will deliver his Easter message to an empty St Peter’s Square.
The Italian government also announced it was placing 70,000 extra police officers on surveillance nationwide, in order to enforce the lockdown rules.
Following the holiday weekend, different regions will then remain in either “orange zone” or “red zone” restrictions until the end of the month.
More than 110,328 people in total have died of the coronavirus in Italy, and there have been 3.6 million confirmed infections.
Italy’s restrictions come as countries across Europe try to control a surge in cases of the virus, while struggling with a delayed vaccine rollout.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) criticised Europe’s “unacceptably slow” vaccine rollout, and said the situation in the region is now worse than it has been for several months.
“Vaccines present our best way out of this pandemic… However, the rollout of these vaccines is unacceptably slow,” WHO director for Europe Hans Kluge said in a statement.
“We must speed up the process by ramping up manufacturing, reducing barriers to administering vaccines, and using every single vial we have in stock, now.”
According to the WHO, only 10% of the nearly 900 million people in the region have had a single dose of coronavirus vaccine.