La Scala and La Fenice opera houses shuttered, as Italy implements measures to prevent spread of coronavirus

Posted on: February 24, 2020

“Italy scrambled Sunday to check the spread of Europe’s first major outbreak of the new viral disease amid rapidly rising numbers of infections and a third death, calling off the popular Venice Carnival … and shuttering theaters, including Milan’s legendary La Scala,” write Luca Bruno and Frances d’Emilio in Sunday’s (2/23) Associated Press. At its website, Venice’s La Fenice opera house states that it will remain closed through March 1. Museums, schools, and sporting events were shut in certain areas of Italy. “Concern was also on the rise in neighboring Austria, which halted all rail traffic to and from Italy for several hours after suspicion that a train at its southern border with Italy had two passengers possibly infected with the virus on board…. The decision to call off Venice Carnival was announced by Veneto regional Gov. Luca Zaia as the number of confirmed virus cases soared to 152, the largest number outside Asia. ‘The ordinance is immediately operative and will go into effect at midnight,’ said Zaia, whose area includes Venice, where thousands packed St. Mark’s Square…. Three people in Venice have tested positive for the viral disease known as COVID-19…. Nearly all the cases of COVID-19 were in the countryside.”