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Italy's Conte Announces Partial Lockdown Lift Starting 4 May as Nation Recovers From COVID-19

© REUTERS / Remo CasilliItalian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addresses the lower house of parliament on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rome, Italy April 21, 2020.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addresses the lower house of parliament on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rome, Italy April 21, 2020. - Sputnik International
GENOA (Sputnik) - Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte announced Sunday plans for easing the country's lockdown from 4 May as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that Italians will be allowed to do some activities within their region of residence, while other movements will still only be allowed for work or health reasons.

"What will happen after May 4? In the two weeks that will follow, so until May 18, we will have in general the continuation of the existing measures regarding social distancing and freedom of movement. So, measures concerning movements within regions will remain in place, movements will be allowed with proven work reasons and in situations of necessity and out of health reasons," Conte said in a televised address.

The prime minister said that Italians would be able by 4 May to visit relatives within the same region.

"We are aware that many families have been separated, parents, grandchildren and grandparents," Conte said.

He noted that family visits will have to be done while observing social distancing, wearing face masks and respecting the ban on assembling.

"We are not saying that from May 4 home parties and family reunions will be allowed," Conte said.

He added that it will still be forbidden to move from one region to another by public or private transport.

Access to Public Parks

The prime minister also said that the government will reopen access to public parks and allow outdoor sports from 4 May as part of gradual lockdown lift.

"We will allow access to parks, villas and public gardens but with absolute respect to social distancing rules and only with limited number of entries," Conte said. "From May 4 it will be possible to do physical activities not only next to the home but also further away, but a distance of at least 2 meters must be observed in dynamic sport activities".

The ban on assembling will remain in place both for public and private places, Conte said, stressing that for physical activity the rule of social distancing would be at least one meter.

Manufacturing and Construction Activities

Italy will also allow manufacturing and construction sectors to restart work after 4 May.

"From May 4 the whole manufacturing sector and the construction sector will open again, as well as wholesale trade related to manufacturing and construction," the primer minster said.

Regarding retail trade, Conte said that it would start from 18 May as the second stage of the partial COVID-19 restrictions lift.

"On May 18 we have in our plans the reopening of retail trade, the one that is related to manufacturing actives and to the construction sector will restart on May 4," Conte said.

Italy Records Lowest Number of Daily COVID-19 Fatalities Since Mid-March

Italy has recorded 260 coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, the lowest number of daily deaths registered since March 14, Italy’s Civil Protection Department said in a statement on Sunday, adding that the death toll is now 26,644.

On Saturday, Italy registered 415 new deaths. On 27 March, Italian authorities reported 969 deaths in one day, the highest one-day tally to date.

Over 1,800 patients have recovered in the given period, bringing the total number of recoveries to 64,928.

The cumulative number of all COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the outbreak in the country is 197,675.

According to the new statistics, the number of patients in intensive care units is 2,009, a decrease of 93 patients.

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