ITALY has announced a de-escalation timetable to start opening its economy from May 4. In an announcement this evening, the country’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that the de-escalation of Italy’s lockdown will happen in stages.
According to Conte, manufacturing and construction will be the first sectors to reopen. Wholesale retail businesses linked to manufacturing and construction can also reopen on May 4, “on the condition that all these companies will rigorously respect security protocols,” he said. Retailers and museums can open two weeks later on May 18. However, bars, restaurants and personal services like hairdressers/barbers, can potentially open on June 1.
Parks will be also reopened if local authorities ensure that citizens do not gather in groups, added Conte. People will be allowed to go for walks and for a run, for distances further away from their homes than at present. Sports will also be allowed so long as individuals keep a two-metre distance. Citizens can also visit relatives from next month, so long as they wear protective masks and respect social distancing.
Commenting on the timetable, Conte stated: “We all want the country to restart, but the only way to live with the virus in this phase is to not fall ill and social distancing.” However, the Prime Minister warned that if citizens “fail to respect rules such as social distancing, the curve of contagion will rise and could become out of control, the number of our dead will increase and our economy will suffer irreversible damage.”
With 26,644 Covid-19 fatalities, Italy has suffered the most deaths from the disease in Europe, and today its health authorities reported the fewest deaths (260) linked to the virus since March 14, as reported.