Europe to begin reopening next week as coronavirus pandemic declines

Madrid Desk, May 2 (efe-epa).- Countries across Europe prepared to reopen businesses on Monday in an easing of lockdown restrictions as the coronavirus outbreak in the region declined.

In Italy, which has been one of the worst affected countries in the world, residents spent their final weekend in strict lockdown.

A gradual reopening of activities will begin in the country from Monday, after residents spent a number of weeks in confinement to prevent the spread of infections.

There have been more than 207,000 confirmed cases and 28,000 deaths among the country’s 60 million population.

The rate of fresh infections and hospitalisations has been decreasing in recent weeks, which has led the government to announce a partial reactivation of the economy from next week.

Throughout this week, public transport has been adapted in cities such as Rome, with markings on seats on the metro and buses to prevent overcrowding.

In Portugal, the country’s state of emergency is due to expire at midnight on Saturday with de-escalation due to start at the beginning of next week.

There have been more than 1,000 deaths and 25,100 confirmed cases in the country, which is home to around 10 million people, with a recent decline in the number of daily fatalities and cases.

Of that number 855 people remained hospitalised, of whom 150 were in intensive care.

De-escalation measures are due to begin on Monday, with small shops and hairdressers due to reopen, although authorities have warned that the risk has not disappeared.

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