Italians have been told they won't have to pay their mortgage payments while the country goes into coronavirus lockdown
- Mortgage payments will be suspended across the whole of Italy as the country struggles to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
- Italy's coronavirus death toll jumped from 366 to 463 on Monday, making it the worst-hit country after China.
- The Italian government has placed the entire population under lockdown as it struggled to stop the coronavirus spreading.
- The British bank RBS also said on Monday that it would defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months for customers who have been affected by the coronavirus.
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Payments on mortgages will be suspended across the whole of Italy after the Italian government placed the entire population on lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Asked about the possibility of mortgage payments being temporarily frozen, the country's deputy finance minister Laura Castelli said: "Yes, that will be the case, for individuals and households."
It comes as the Italian government placed the whole population of more than 60 million people under lockdown after extending emergency measures - initially imposed only on northern regions - across the country as it struggled to stop the coronavirus spreading.
The prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced the new measures on Monday afternoon, telling people to "stay at home" and banning all public gatherings.
"There is no more time. I will take responsibility for these measures. Our future is in our hands," he said at a press conference.
Italy is grappling with the worst outbreak of coronavirus in Europe, and its death toll jumped on Monday from 366 to 463 on Friday, making it the worst-hit country after China.
The total number of confirmed cases rose by 24% to 9,172, the head of the civil protection agency said, with 724 of those having fully recovered.
"The figures show we are experiencing a serious increase in infections, an increase in people hospitalised in intensive care - and an increase, unfortunately, in deaths. We need to change our lifestyle. We need to change it now. That's why I have decided to adopt these hard measures,"
"I am going to sign a decree that can be summarised as follows: I stay at home," Conte told reporters on Monday. "The whole of Italy will become a protected zone."
All public events in Italy will be banned, with cinemas, theatres, gyms, and pubs closed. Football matches, funerals, and weddings will also be banned, while schools and universities will remain closed.
The British bank RBS also said on Monday that it would defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months for customers who have been affected by the coronavirus.
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