Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte laid out a plan on Sunday night for gradually easing restrictions across the country after seven weeks of lockdown.
Construction sites, factories and wholesale supply businesses can resume work Monday or as soon as they implement safety measures against the novel coronavirus, Conte said.
Starting May 4, parks will reopen, people will be allowed to visit relatives within the same region, restaurants can provide takeaway services and athletes will be able to resume training for individual sports. However, Conte insisted that social distancing must remain at all times and large gatherings will not be permitted.
“If you love Italy, keep your distance,” Conte said in a televised address to the nation on Sunday night.
Then if all goes well, shops, museums and libraries will reopen on May 18, followed by bars, restaurants, cafes and beauty salons on June 1. Schools, however, will not reopen before September, Conte said.
Italy, one of the worst-hit countries in the coronavirus pandemic, has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 9. More than 197,000 people in the European country have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and over 26,000 have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.