Italy’s Prime Minister has outlined plans to ease lockdown measures imposed seven weeks ago to curb the spread of Coronavirus. This is after the country recorded its lowest daily death toll since mid-March. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the strict relaxations would be relaxed from 4 May, with people being allowed to visit their relatives but in small numbers. Parks will reopen with schools not resuming classes until September. Other countries like Spain and Switzerland are also easing their strict impositions.
Italy recorded 260 new virus-related deaths on Sunday, the lowest daily figures since 14 March. Italy’s total now stands at 26,644, the highest official toll in Europe. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Italy has confirmed 197,675 cases of the virus. With the number of cases falling, the authorities believe the contagion rate is low enough to substantiate a cautious easing of curbs.
Speaking on Television, the Prime Minister outlined how the country would start ‘Phase Two’ of lifting its Coronavirus lockdown. Some of the measures include resuming of funerals, but with a maximum of 15 people attending, moving of people around their own regions- but not between different regions. Bars and restaurants will also reopen for takeaway service from 4 May. Sports teams will also be able to hold group training from 18 May. However, there was no announcement on the possibility of resuming Italy’s premier football league Serie A, even behind closed doors.
Mr. Conte stressed the importance of maintaining social distancing measures for months to come, with church services remaining banned. He also urged people to stay 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.