On Sunday, Rome ordered a virtual lockdown across much of its wealthy north, including the financial capital Milan, in a drastic new attempt to try to contain a outbreak of coronavirus that saw the number of deaths leap again sharply.

Calzedonia decided to close its stores in the so-called red areas for all its brands, including Intimissimi, Tezenis and Falconeri “in order to follow government’s instructions to minimize occasions for contagion”, the company said in a statement. “Since we do not sell essential goods, we thought it was appropriate to try and do all we can to protect the health of our customers and our employees”, it added.