After over two months, museums in Italy are all set to reopen on May 18, international media reported. However, the world-famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence will “probably wait for another week” as the Italian government has yet not issued any safety guidelines for its reopening. According to reports, Italy will be lifting lockdown restrictions owing to decreased number o cases.
According to the museum's press office, Uffizi is planning to allow only 450 people at one time in comparison to 900 before the pandemic began. The museum, which was visited by over 2.2 million people last year has suffered a loss of over 10 million euros owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Majority of losses occurred due to lack of revenue from tickets, however, missed sales of merchandise and books also accounted for a considerable loss.
This comes as the archaeological site of Pompeii was planning to reopen for tourists from May 26 with a two-week trial during which visitors would be allowed only on main streets of the ancient city. Following a successful trial, some of the main Roman houses or Domus would be opened, however, a separate entry and exit paths would be made for visitors. Meanwhile, Vatican museums have not set a date for reopening as yet.
According to international reports, Italy’s government has signed a decree that will permit travel to and from the country from June 3. This also marks a major step towards life coming back to normal in the country that has the third-highest death toll of COVID-19 disease in the world after the US and the UK. Even though Italy still has 72,070 active cases of coronavirus and has reported over 31,600 deaths, the infection rate has drastically fallen in recent days.
Italy was also the first country in Europe to have imposed restrictions in the wake of the global health crisis and had emerged as a virus hotspot. After being under strict lockdown for at least two months, the measures were allowed to ease earlier this month. On May 4, Italy’s government had allowed the factories to resume its operations and parks were open for the public. Shops, restaurants, and Catholic churches are also due to open on May 18 only if they follow social distancing rules.
Image credits: AP