Italy has sketched plans to ease the strict lockdown enforced seven weeks ago to prevent the spread of COIVD-19 after it recorded its lowest daily fatality rate since mid-March.
PM Giuseppe Conte said the lockdown would be eased from May 4 with people being allowed to visit their families in small numbers with face masks on. Parks will be reopening but schools will not be opened for education until September. Other countries like Spain are Switzerland are also easing the restrictions. On Sunday, the country recorded 206 new deaths from virus, the lowest daily figure since March 14, making total 26,644 which in turn also makes it Europe’s highest death toll.
Italy has registered 197,675 confirmed cases of COVID-19 according to data provided by Johns Hopkins. The number of cases has been dropped and authorities now believe they can ease the measures recommended 7 weeks ago.
Addressing the public, Mr. Conte announced how the country would begin “Phase 2 of lifting the restrictions. The measures outlined by Conte include:
Public will be allowed to move around their own regions but inter region movement will not be permitted.
Funerals are also allowed to resume but with a maximum of 15 people attending the event.
Individual athlete can also restart their training regimens and people are can also start sporting activities both inside and outside their vicinities.
Restaurants and bars that were previously available for only delivery can open takeaways from May 4.
Beauty Salons, Hairdressers, restaurants and bars are expected to resume dine-in services by June 1.
The retailers not already opened will be opening on May 18 along with the libraries and museums.
Sports teams will also be able to resume their training camps and group training activities from May 18.
However, there has been no calling of plan to open Italian domestic league Serie A even without spectators.
Mr. Conte insisted that the public had to comply with social distancing measures for months to come and said church services and religious gatherings would remain closed. He also appealed to public to keep a distance of 3 meters.
“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,” the PM said. “If you love Italy, Keep your distance.”
Italians have undergone one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe following a nationwide stay-at-home order since March 9, 2020 with all the public required to not move within a few streets of their place. The country lifted some lockdown measures on April 14 and permitted some small businesses including dry cleaners, stationers, bookstores and kids clothing shops to reopen.
The nation has gone through hell and it would take to recover but if there is a second wave of infections, the government will have to intervene and reinforce the social distancing measures it has gradually lifted in a bid to reopen the economy badly suffocated by corona pandemic.