Italy to begin easing COVID restrictions

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The Italian government said Wednesday it plans to gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions from next week, with restaurants and movie theatres set to reopen.

Authorities said restaurants will be allowed to serve patrons outdoors from Monday, but only in yellow zone areas where the risk of contagion is deemed low.

Cinemas, theatres and can also reopen the same day with 50 percent capacity.

Schools and universities will be allowed to resume in-person classes as well, and travel between yellow zones will resume.

However a 10pm to 5am curfew will remain in place.

During the next stage beginning May 15, outdoor pools will reopen and malls, which currently are operating weekdays only, will be allowed to operate on weekends.

From June 1, bars and restaurants can serve patrons indoors but only from 5am to 6pm. Gyms will also be given the to resume business.

Stadiums at that time will reopen for the public at 25 percent capacity. The number of spectators, however, cannot exceed 1,000 in open-air venues and 500 in indoor venues.

From June 15, fairs will be allowed to take place and beginning July, conference venues, and spas can resume operations.

Italian media said the majority of regions in Italy will be classified yellow zones from Monday, thus allowing for COVID restrictions to be gradually lifted nationwide.

The easing of controls comes as the country is still registering 300 deaths on average per day because of the pandemic that has so far killed 117,000 people.

© 2021 AFP

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