Italy will ease lockdown over next four weeks, local media says

Italy will ease lockdown over next four weeks, with bars, restaurants and hairdressers among the last to open on May 18, local media reports

  • Some manufacturing could resume next week if infection rate does not worsen
  • Building sites could re-open on May 4, followed by clothing shops on May 11 
  • Bars, restaurants and hairdressers could open on May 18, Italian media said 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Italy will start lifting the longest coronavirus lockdown in Europe over the next four weeks, Italian media said today. 

The Corriere della Sera newspaper said some manufacturing could resume as soon as Monday, April 27 as long as the infection rate does not worsen again. 

Building sites and the textile and fashion industries could re-open May 4, followed by shops including clothes stores on May 11. 

Finally, bars, restaurants and hairdressers could begin to welcome customers again on May 18, it is reported. The government has not confirmed the plans. 

Italian police wearing face masks carry out a patrol in the Vittorio Emmanuele shopping gallery in Milan yesterday, enforcing a lockdown which has been in place since March 9

Italy has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 9, longer than any other European country. 

‘The next four Mondays will mark the country’s reopening,’ the newspaper said.   

Other Italian media said that bars and restaurants could reopen some time ‘in the second half of May’.

The country’s gradual reopening will be accompanied by strict hygiene measures and continued social distancing.

Shops with a surface area of 40 square metres or less will be allowed only one customer at a time.

Bars and restaurants will have to keep a distance of one metre between customers who will preferably not be seated in air conditioned spaces where viruses spread more easily.  

The government ordered all shops except for pharmacies and grocery stores to close on March 12. 

These graphs show the daily number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Italy, which have fallen from their peak in late March

Italy’s infection rate and death rate have both fallen from their peaks in late March, when health officials were regularly recording more than 700 deaths per day. 

Cases have been increasing by less than two per cent for the last six days, with yesterday’s total of 2,646 bringing the total to 189,973.  

Italy says it has carried out more than a million tests and some regions have begun testing for signs of immunity. 

Officials have spoken of a ‘phase two’ in which Italy learns to ‘live with the virus’ until a vaccine or effective treatment is developed. 

Italy has opened a handful of shops including bookstores on a trial basis, although not every region has chosen to implement these measures.  

Lombardy is among those choosing to stay completely shut, after recording more than 70,000 of Italy’s total cases.  


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