Sporting events in Italy - including Serie A, Champions League, and Europa League matches - must take place behind closed doors for the next month, the Italian government announced Wednesday, according to The Associated Press' Daniella Matar.
The measures will kick in Thursday and last until April 3, at the earliest.
Twelve Italian football matches have already been postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus. More than 100 people have died from COVID-19 in Italy, where more than 3,000 people have been infected by the new virus.
The government's ruling applies to all areas of the country instead of just the north, where the majority of COVID-19 cases have cropped up. The provinces of Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, and Veneto have been hit the hardest, with nearly 90% of infections reported in those regions.
It's unclear if Serie A will stage games without fans present. Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora previously gave the league the option to play behind closed doors, but it decided last weekend to postpone fixtures in vulnerable areas, including the Derby d'Italia between Juventus and Inter Milan in Turin.
Arrangements will also have to be made for Champions League and Europa League fixtures involving Juventus, Inter, and Roma. Inter are scheduled to host Getafe on March 12, Juventus welcome Lyon on March 17, and Roma entertain Sevilla two days later.
UEFA ordered Inter to play their Europa League match behind closed doors at the San Siro last Thursday. The Nerazzurri beat Ludogorets 2-1 to advance to the round of 16.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, Serie A officials have offered little clarity, often making snap judgments in chaotic circumstances. Several teams learned their games were being canceled only after traveling to play them. One of the clubs in question, Fiorentina, found out mere hours before kickoff.
However, four matches in Serie A went ahead as usual last weekend. Fans attended games in Rome, Naples, the Sardinian capital of Cagliari, and southern city Lecce.