Since the coronavirus came to light, many countries across the globe implemented unprecedented measures in hopes to stop it spreading. Europe became the epicentre of the pandemic with Italy, recording the highest number of deaths. After ten weeks of one of the strictest lockdowns, Italians can now enjoy some level of freedom. The move came when Prime Minister Conte announced that some factories and parks would open earlier this month. While concerns of opening the country too soon sparks concerns, Conte said Italy could not afford to wait for a vaccine. In recent weeks the country saw a decrease in the number of recorded cases. The Prime Minister went on to say reopening businesses would avoid further damage on the economy. The government noted that it’s taking a ‘calculated risk’ to ease lockdown in Italy.
For the first time in more than two months, thousands of workers left their homes to return to work. The government announced that while getting things back to normal, people should keep with precautionary measures. Tourism, which accounts for a significant part of Italy’s economy came to a complete stop due to travel bans. The country plans to ease some of the travel restrictions on 3rd June.
Loosening of Lockdown in Italy
One of the ways to prevent another outbreak is to ease lockdown in phases. Many Italians welcome the decision to return to work. Shops, restaurants, and churches reopened their doors on the 18th May while keeping with the social distancing regulations. Mass will see worshippers wearing masks as part of the government regulations.
As from the 25th May, beauty salons, gyms, swimming pools and bars are being allowed to open. Safety measures set out by the government requires that all businesses keep in line with regulations. The European Commission announced that member states would open their borders as of mid-June. Theatres and cinemas would also open around this time.
Some regions in the country may have to wait a little longer for businesses to open. With the phasing-out of lockdown, local governments will have to monitor each region on its readiness carefully. Calabria opened its bars earlier than the rest of the country while Emilia-Romagna kept beaches closed off. The Lombardy region located on the south end of the country accounts for more than half the recorded cases in Italy.
While large gatherings are prohibited, meeting friends while social distancing is allowed. Wearing face masks when indoors is compulsory; however, only recommended when outdoors and in crowded spaces.
Unlike Germany, which had schools reopen, Italy has no plans for pupils to return to school, at least not until September. After a devastating first half of the year, there is uncertainty on what the future has in store for us. Living with the virus is something most of us will have to adjust to. As the country slowly returns to ‘normal’, many lost loved ones to the virus.
To see how other European countries are easing lockdown, check out how Germany’s Lockdown differed from Italy.