Italy warms up the engine to relax Coronavirus lockdown measures

The Italian Prime Minister Conte announces the Sunday launch of a national detailed plan to relax the restriction measures due to Coronavirus that will take place from May 4th.

He explains: “I wish I could say we are reopening everything immediately, but it would be irresponsible”.

The beginning of the so-called “phase 2” is about to start. However, Conte warns: “We cannot rely on instinctive decisions just to satisfy a part of the public opinion or the requests of some individual companies or specific regions.”

“The easing of the measures must take place based on a well-structured and articulated plan. We cannot afford to leave out any detail, because the easing brings with it the concrete risk of an increase in the infection curve and we must be prepared to contain this ascent to the minimum levels so that the risk of contagion is ‘tolerable’ for the receptivity of our hospitals”.

A reopening phase means dealing with the workflow, the new safety protocols in the workplace, and the use of public and private transportation. After the promising and important results achieved by the Italian people, which are being studied in other countries, it is fundamental for the Italian government not to throw away these results in this new phase.

As the program will have a national footprint based on the territorial differences the Italian north-south divide will need to be taken into account too, and Conte is aware of this: “The characteristics and methods of transport are not the same from region to region, as well as the receptivity of the hospital structures and must be constantly commensurate with the number of Covid-19 patients”.

The Italian government has employed a group of experts who are working day and night for the awaited plan. The first relaxations will concern the textile and fashion industry, the glass production, the extractive business, the automotive sector, the manufacturing for export, public construction sites, and the wholesale trade. Parks will reopen only if the municipalities will be able to ensure the social distancing, and people will be able to visit their family members and individual athletes’ training will resume.

The inauguration looks at a progressive and gradual reopening after the lockdown which began on March 11.

For the economy, this is a significant breath of oxygen even if conditionalities apply.

Gatherings are still strictly banned and social distancing is extensively compulsory even within the work field which cannot be carried out without protective masks.

The phase 2 plan envisaged a staggered business reopening for museums and libraries from May 18th, while Ski resorts, cinemas, theatres, pubs, clubs, and schools remain closed on a date not established yet.

Civil and religious ceremonies remain suspended, but funerals will be celebrated as long as churches and worships will be able to avoid gatherings and guarantee the distance of one meter among first- and second-degree relatives, up to a maximum of 15 people.

From June 1st, hairdressers, barbers and beauticians, as well as bars, restaurants, and patisseries will reopen.

Eventually, for those who intend to go to Italy, a declaration containing the reasons of the trip needs to be provided, and 14 days of fiduciary isolation, strictly communicated to the ASL Prevention Department, need to be observed by everyone who arrives in the Italian peninsula.

With a sigh of relief, Italy is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, after having been for long the country worst hit by the pandemic.

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