During Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on April 28, Pope Francis urged people to obey rules that are put in place for the easing of quarantine restrictions in Italy. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on April 27 outlined strategy to ease restrictions that the government imposed seven weeks ago keeping in mind the coronavirus outbreak.
"At this time, when indications have been given to exit out of quarantine, we pray the Lord will grant to His people, all of us, the grace of prudence and obedience to these indications, so that the pandemic does not return," Pope Francis was quoted as saying by the Vatican's official website.
The restrictions would be reportedly relaxed from May 4, with parks, factories, and construction sites reopening after months. According to reports, people will be allowed to visit relatives in small numbers after the relaxations are put in place. Conte addressed the nation on April 26, where he outlined how the country would begin lifting restrictions. Conte said that schools in the country will remain shut until September and church services will not resume until further notice. Conte urged people to maintain social distancing and stay 3 metres apart from each other.
Conte said that funerals with no more than 15 people will be allowed to take place, bar and restaurants will be allowed to reopen for takeaways and deliveries from May 4, however, the dine-in services will begin from June 1. Hairdressers and salons will also be allowed to reopen after months of lockdown. Conte informed that sports team will be allowed for group training from May 18, without mentioning as in when Italy's top football league will resume.
Italy was the most affected country for weeks before the United States took over in mid-March. According to data by Wordometer, Italy has recorded 1,99,414 confirmed cases so far, of which 26,977 people have lost their lives. There are currently 1,05,813 active infections in the country as of April 21 with 1, 956 patients under critical condition. Italy has successfully treated 66,624 COVID-19 positive patients to date.
(Image Credit: AP)