Bars, restaurants, beauty salons and barber shops will be allowed to reopen across Italy this month rather than having to wait till June.
Regional governors got their way on Monday when Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte dropped his plan to keep restaurants and hair salons closed until June 1 and instead moved up their reopening to May 18. A list of coronavirus-related safety precautions for those businesses will be issued later this week.
While some Italian provinces move ahead with reopening businesses earlier than originally planned by the central government, Conte still has the power to overrule policy decisions made by governors if the number of COVID-19 cases start to climb again. Monday marked the first day that Italy’s nationwide total of patients in intensive care units fell to under 1,000.
Once the hardest-hit country in Europe, Italy was the first nation in the world to impose a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Italy began to slowly lift the strict lockdown by easing some restrictions.
Italy’s Civil Protection Agency recorded the country’s lowest daily death toll from COVID-19 on Sunday. The single-day rise of new infections also fell below 1,000 for the first time since early March.
Italy is one of the worst-affection nations in the world in the pandemic, with more than 219,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and at least 30,739 deaths.