Italian PM Conte outlines measures to ease lockdown

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on April 27th 2020, 9:09am

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has unveiled plans to ease the country's strict Covid-19 lockdown, which has been in force since March 9.

Conte said that relaxing of measures will begin from May 4 and that people will be allowed to visit family members in small numbers.

Italy recorded 260 new Covid-19 deaths on Sunday, the lowest daily figure recorded since March 14. It still holds Europe’s highest official death toll for a single country, with 26,644 deceased.

According to Johns Hopkins University in the US, Italy's number of confirmed cases is now at 197,675, and with the number of cases in decline, Italian authorities have seen fit to justify a measured relaxation of restrictions.

Outlining the plans in a television address, Conte said that parks, factories and building sites will be allowed to open, but schools will not resume until September.

Italians will still be prevented from travelling to different regions of the country, but are now free to move around locally.

Athletes will be permitted to train outside of their homes as long as they are alone, while sports clubs can recall their players for team training from May 18.

Bars and restaurants are able to begin operating takeaway services from May 4, and are expected to recommence full dine-in services from June 1, with hairdressers and salons set to reopen on the same day.

Retailers that have not already reopened will do so on May 18, with libraries and museums following suit.

Church services have not yet been allowed to recommence, as Conte urged Italians to continue to adhere to social distancing measures for the coming months by remaining a minimum of one metre apart.

In support of social distancing, the Italian government has capped the price of face masks at 50 cents for affordability.

Conte 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."

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Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
April 27th 2020, 9:09am

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