"These figure mean we must adopt the utmost caution to limit the number of deaths and stop health facilities being saturated".
The entire country will become a red zone from April 3 through April 5 - Easter weekend.
Daily new caseloads of confirmed infections have soared above 20,000 in recent days, including on Saturday, with the Health Ministry reporting 26,062 cases.
"The memory of what happened last spring is vivid, and we will do everything to prevent it from happening again", he added.
As for this, he said that for the first time a lockdown was announced across the country due to the outbreak of the covid-19 epidemic a year ago in Italy. However, any region that reports over 250 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents weekly will automatically be forced into lockdown.
The provision will bring Italy back into a sort of lockdown-light, with restrictions very similar to those imposed over the Christmas-New Year period, which had allowed keeping the pandemic curve under control in January.
Previously, the classification of red zones was based on a range of criteria, involving some political input.
On Monday, much of the country, including Rome's region, Lazio, will be put under tougher restrictions on citizens' movements outside the home.
GIMBE president Nino Cartabellotta on Thursday warned of an increase in the number of new cases for three consecutive weeks, which "confirms the start of the third wave" of Covid-19.
Italy is now vaccinating some 170,000 people per day, the prime minister said, adding: "The goal is to triple that quickly". Travel between regions is already banned under previous restrictions.
Italy's medicines agency blocked the use of one batch of AstraZeneca vaccines, after "several grave adverse events" were reported, Mr Draghi said, describing it as a "precautional decision" in line with other European nations.
There were 270 new admissions to intensive care units, up from 226 on Friday.