Thursday, 28 May 2020

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Italy's PM outlines lockdown easing measures on coronavirus

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Health Desk- 27 April 2020: Italy has outlined plans to ease the strict restrictions it imposed seven weeks ago to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the measures would be relaxed from 4 May, with people being allowed to visit their relatives in small numbers.

Parks, factories and building sites will reopen, but schools will not restart classes until September.

It comes as the country recorded its lowest daily death toll in weeks.

There were 260 new virus-related deaths on Sunday, the lowest daily figure since 14 March. The total is now at 26,644, Europe's highest official toll.

Italy has confirmed 197,675 cases of the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the disease globally.

Mentionable, other countries like Switzerland and Spain are also relaxing their measures.

Speaking on television, Mr Conte outlined how the country would begin "Phase Two" of lifting its coronavirus lockdown.

The measures include:

People will be allowed to move around their own regions - but not between different regions

Funerals are set to resume, but with a maximum of 15 people attending, and ideally to be carried out outdoors

Individual athletes can resume training, and people can do sports not only in the vicinity of their homes but in wider areas

Bars and restaurants will reopen for takeaway service from 4 May -not just delivery as now - but food must be consumed at home or in an office

Hairdressers, beauty salons, bars and restaurants are expected to reopen for dine-in service from 1 June

More retail shops not already opened under the earliest easing measures will reopen on 18 May along with museums and libraries

Sports teams will also be able to hold group training from 18 May

The premier Mr. Conte stressed that social distancing measures would need to continue for months to come, and said church services would remain banned. He urged people to stay a metre (3ft) away from each other.

"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 prime minister said. "If you love Italy, keep your distance."