Italy prepares to emerge from Covid lockdown

Rome, Apr 25 (EFE).- Italy is preparing to begin a gradual easing of its national coronavirus lockdown measures on Monday.

Many sectors and activities that have been restricted to help slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as restaurants, bars, cinemas or theaters, will be allowed to reopen, while in-person education will be increased in most regions, with at least 7.6 million students due to return to class.

Almost 50 million Italians will once again be allowed to have lunch or dinner at open-air restaurants in the 14 regions classified as “yellow zones”, while of the remaining regions, five will become “orange” or medium risk. Only Sardinia remains in “red” or on the highest alert, according to the latest decree signed by health minister Roberto Speranza.

A curfew, a point of contention between the government in Rome and regional authorities in recent days, will remain in place from 10pm.

One of the most important developments will be that people can once again travel internally between the country’s regions, but only if they have a so-called “green pass”, which can be obtained by having been fully vaccinated, having recovered from Covid-19 or having tested negative in the previous 48 hours.

For the first time since October, cinemas, theaters and concert halls in yellow zones can also reopen, although with attendance restrictions and strict security measures in place.

Just 120 of the country’s 1,200 movie theaters will open from Monday, while the vast majority of theaters will need to wait until at least May to be able to adapt to requirements such as 50 percent capacity, a maximum of 500 occupied seats and the curfew that shortens their evening hours of operation.

Notable exceptions include Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, which on Thursday will reopen with a symphonic concert conducted by maestro MIchele Mariotti entirely dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi, while Milan’s La Scala is still pushing for its artists to be vaccinated.

Museums have also announced that they will open their doors from Monday, including the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum, the Roman Capitoline Museums, the Imperial Forums and the Mausoleum of Augustus. EFE


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