Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte has announced the easing of a series of lockdown restrictions, including the reopening of all shops, bars, restaurants and hairdressers, from 18 May, provided that the regional guidelines aimed at containing the risk of infection are observed.
In an address to the nation on Saturday evening, Conte said efforts to control the coronavirus outbreak had brought results, and that Italy was ready for a new phase in the fight against the pandemic, provided there was enough trust and responsibility in the population.
On 25 May, gyms, swimming pools and sports centres will be able to open, but will be required to adhere to safety protocols.
From 3 June, people can travel from region to region, unless the Italian government exercises containment measures based on the risk of infection in any given area, and people arriving from EU member states will no longer be subject to a mandatory quarantine.
Conte added that specific restrictions could be introduced at local level if necessary.
More certainties were needed, he said, before the country’s top football league, Serie A, could resume games, but said teams were allowed to resume full squad training from 18 May.
“We are taking a calculated risk, aware that the contagion curve could rise again,” Conte told reporters in the courtyard of his official Rome residence.
“We are taking this risk and we have to accept it, otherwise we could not restart. We cannot wait for a vaccine.”