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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 3 December 2020

Italy sets out plans to ease Europe's longest lockdown

The country has give the green light for wholesale stores and restaurants to resume business on 4 May.

Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

ITALY HAS OUTLINED plans to ease Covid-19 restrictions as it recorded its lowest daily death toll since mid-March. 

The country, which largely shut down in March as the disease’s devastation became clear, gave the green light for wholesale stores and restaurants to resume business on 4 May and for people once again to stroll in parks and visit relatives. 

Other shops will open three weeks later as will Italy’s many museums, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said. 

However, Conte told Italians that they would still have to wear face masks in public and rigorously observe social distancing.

“If you love Italy, keep your distance from others,” Conte said in a national address.

Conte is expected to announce more details on easing the lockdown there in the coming days.

Conte said priorities included restarting construction projects and export industries.

He confirmed that school classes would not resume until September.

Other European countries, meanwhile, are further along in easing lockdowns.

Germany allowed non-essential shops and other facilities to open last week, and Denmark has reopened schools for some children.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez will present a detailed plan on tomorrow for the “de-escalation” of Spain’s lockdown.

His French counterpart likewise said he would unveil a “national deconfinement strategy” on the same day.

“Maximum caution will be our guideline for the rollback,” Sanchez said.

“We must be very prudent, because there is no manual, no road map, to follow.”

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic began late last year, said all major construction projects had resumed as authorities pushed to restart factory production and other economic activity after a two-and-a-half-month lockdown.

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