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Edmonton woman in Italy describes life in travel lockdown ‘like being in a movie’

An Edmonton woman living in Italy said the mood is “surreal” after the Italian government imposed a travel lockdown on the entire country amid coronavirus fears.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Italy extends lockdown to entire country as new COVID-19 cases surge

The Italian government is hoping the measure will stem the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 10,000 people and killed more than 600 in that country as of March 10. The move mimics a similar measure imposed by the Chinese government on cities in Central China as the outbreak started to worsen.

The contagion came to light near Italy‘s financial capital Milan on Feb. 21.

READ MORE: Canadians urged to avoid non-essential travel to Italy over coronavirus lockdown

Italy‘s 60 million people will now only be able to travel for work, medical reasons or emergencies until April 3. All schools and universities, which were closed nationwide last week until March 15, will now not reopen before next month.

Jasmine Mah has been living in Bergamo, in the Lombardy region, for five years. She is originally from Edmonton.

“The mood is just very surreal. Everything is very quiet, except for… ambulances going by. It’s just a very — almost creepy — feeling,” she said.

As a result of the lockdown, Mah and her husband are now both working from home.

“We’re basically now just trying to stay at home as much as possible. So only going out for essential things. For us, luckily we’re young, we don’t have to go to the pharmacy for anything. It’s just for groceries,” she said.

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READ MORE: Former Winnipegger says ‘everyone’s suffering’ as Italy locks down over coronavirus fears

Mah said the days pass by quickly.

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