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Italy to relax COVID-19 lockdown in early May

Published on 27/04/20 at 12:35pm
Photo by Dipartimento Protezione Civile

Italy has outlined its plans to ease the lockdown restrictions that were implemented across the country 7 weeks ago to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the measures would be reduced starting 4 May which will allow people to visit their relatives in small numbers. It will also see parks, factories and building sites reopen. However, schools will remain closed until September.

This will also allow people to move around their own states, but not travel to different ones. Funerals are set to resume with a maximum of 15 people in attendance, while individual athletes can resume training but sports teams can’t hold group training until 18 May. Bars and restaurants will also be open for takeaway service but food must not be consumed on the property.

Prime Minister Conte said that social distancing measures would need to continue for the coming months and urged people to stay a metre away from each other. In a speech he said: “If we do not respect the precautions the curve will go up, the deaths will increase, and we will have irreversible damage to our economy. If you love Italy, keep your distance.”

This is the second step of a limited easing of lockdown restrictions that began on 14 April. This allowed small shops to reopen like bookstores and dry cleaners as they are deemed lower risk due to the amount of footfall they often see.

Italy has seen 197,675 cases overall and 26,644 deaths. Sunday saw another 260 virus related deaths but this was the lowest figure since 14 March, which shows the infection rate and death toll are declining.

Conor Kavanagh

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