Health

Covid-19 restrictions gradually eased in Italy, Belgium, France

Rome/Paris/Brussels, Apr 26 (EFE).- Authorities in Italy and Belgium on Monday began easing coronavirus restrictions, as bars, restaurants and other non-essential businesses and shops were allowed to reopen, as millions of schoolchildren in France returned to classrooms for the first time in weeks.

ITALY

Italy began a gradual return from lockdown with the partial reopening of bars, restaurants and cinemas and theaters, although a 10 pm curfew will remain in place.

The hospitality sector, which has only been allowed to serve customers for takeaway or delivery services  for the past few months, can now welcome people on outdoor terraces right up until the curfew.

Cultural venues, on the other hand, which were first closed in March last year and only briefly reopened last summer, face a tougher return to normality.

Only around 10 percent of cinemas will be able to reopen this week, and while the country’s largest theaters, like the Rome Opera, have had time to line up shows, smaller ones have had to delay their own reopening and feel “abandoned” by the authorities.

“Whoever manages culture in Italy does not know how this works,” said the director of the Altrove Theatre Studio in Rome, Ottavia Bianchi, who pointed out that theaters normally would need four or five months to prepare shows instead of the mere two weeks warning they were given earlier this month.

BELGIUM

Health authorities in Belgium continue to ease coronavirus restrictions, with non-essential businesses allowed to reopen without appointments on Monday, while up to 10 people can now meet outdoors.

From Monday onwards, Belgians can go shopping with one other person from the same household, while hairdressers, beauty salons and other similar contact professions will reopen, but with reinforced sanitary conditions.

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