Vatican News
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte  (ANSA)

Italian Prime Minister outlines phase 2 to ease lockdown

Italy’s prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has outlined a staged plan to ease the country’s lockdown imposed seven weeks ago to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The gradual plan to ease Italy’s lockdown came after the nation recorded its lowest daily death toll since mid March.

By Suzy Hodges

In a nationwide television address the Prime Minister gave details about how Italy would move into Phase Two of easing its strict coronavirus lockdown.

Under the measures, factories, building sites and parks will reopen from May 4th and Italians will be able to travel within their regions to visit relatives. However, movement outside their home region will still be banned unless for work or other emergency purposes. On the same date bars and restaurants will reopen but only for takeaway services and the ban on funerals will be lifted.

In the next stage, retail shops, museums, galleries and libraries will reopen on May 18th and sports teams will also be able to hold group training. Hairdressers, beauty salons, bars and restaurants are due to reopen on June the 1st.

However, the government said schools in Italy are not set to re-open until September.

During his address, Conte stressed that social distancing measures would need to remain in place for many months and said life would be about co-existing with the virus. He urged Italians to always stay at least one metre away from each other, saying “If you love Italy, keep your distance!”

Italians have been confined to their homes since March 9th in Europe’s longest nationwide coronavirus lockdown. The nation has also suffered Europe’s highest official death toll from the virus and the second highest in the world.

27 April 2020, 13:47