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Coronavirus: Italy lock down to end in mid-May with partial lifting of Covid-19 restrictions

The Italian government is planning a gradual reopening of the country in mid-May with the focus on preventing fresh coronavirus outbreaks.

View of the empty street Nazario Sauro in Naples city, after the Italian government has imposed unprecedented national restrictions on controlling the coronavirus COVID 19.
Salvatore Laporta / IPAGTRES

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his cabinet are looking at a partial lifting of the nationwide lock down in place due to the coronavirus pandemic in the middle of May, according to reports. Italy has been the worst-hit country in the world as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak with more than 12,000 deaths from the virus and although there have been some encouraging signs in recent days - 30 March saw the lowest number of new cases in 13 days and the highest number of people recovering from coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak - the national authorities are planning a gradual lifting of restrictions to prevent further infections. 

Among the proposals being studied are the enforcement of self-isolation until the middle of May, when Italy's streets will be reopened to the public in stages. Bars, restaurants, gyms, nightclubs and social centres such as cinemas and theatres will be the last to open their doors to avoid people gathering in large numbers. 

In the meantime, the Italian government will convene on Wednesday to discuss the extension of the current total lock down until the end of the Easter holidays (12 April), as Health Minister Roberto Speranza has stated. "We have looked at the extension of current measures until Easter. The government's decision is expected to be based along those lines."  

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Life to return to normal slowly in Italy

Once the health authorities are satisfied there is no risk of a second wave of coronavirus infections, bars and restaurants will still have to comply with new regulations such as customers maintaining a safe distance from each other and tables being spaced out by a distance of at least one metre. 

The government's top priority is to prevent a second outbreak after the end of the current crisis, which would have potentially disastrous effects on Italy's economy. 


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