After being under strict lockdown for nearly two months, Italy is planning to gradually ease the restrictions and return life to normalcy as coronavirus cases drop. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on April 26 that the government is working in a bid to re-open one of the worst-hit countries of COVID-19 outbreak after May 4. Conte called it a “complex challenge” to cautiously ensure the businesses in the country resume without generating a second wave of infections. As of April 27, Italy has the third-highest death toll of the fatal disease in the world with 26,644 fatalities and 106,103 active COVID-19 cases.
But Italy recorded the lowest daily death toll since March 14 on April 26 with 260 more virus-related casualties. During a televised address, Italian PM briefed about the “Phase Two” of lifting the lockdown including allowing people to roam around their region but not to other areas. Funerals will also be resumed but with less than 15 attendees and are advised to be carried outdoors. Italian PM also indicated that the athletes in the country would be allowed to restart their training sessions while other people will be allowed to play sports in the area around their homes.
From May 4, Italian restaurants and bars would be able to start their takeaway service as opposed to only home deliveries since the first coronavirus case was discovered in the country nearly seven weeks ago. However, people are allowed to consume their meal either at their homes or office. Other services including salons, hairdressers, along with bars and restaurants are expected to be fully functional by June 1. The retail shops that would not be already opened will start their work by May 18 such as libraries and museums.
However, while listing these measures, Conte repeatedly stressed on the importance of social distancing that would be required by people to be followed for several months to come. He also added that the church services would remain banned and urged people to remain at least one metre away from each other to keep the curve of coronavirus infections low. According to the Italian PM if the people ‘do not respect precautions’ it would lead to an ‘irreversible damage’ to the economy.