Phase two will begin next week.
Lockdown restrictions are due to start easing in Italy from May 4, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has confirmed.
The country is currently nearing the end of the longest Covid-19 lockdown in the world – almost two months of strict regulations and minimal movement.
Conte said last night that the country has already begun “phase two” and that some restrictions will be lifted from May 4.
The Local reports that these include allowing residents to visit relatives with caution, exercising outside, and moving within the confines of your region. Public parks will reopen and takeaways from restaurants and bars will also be permitted.
Conte said that Italy has now reached a point where they can start to “coexist with the virus.”
“We’re going to ease the lockdown from May 4th but there is a system in place which integrates the regions,” he said on Sunday.
“It’s fundamental for each and every one of us to be responsible, we must never approach each other, the safety distance must be at least one metre.”
Conte added that funerals will be allowed from May 4, but that no more than 15 people must attend. Residents are permitted to travel to their second homes and businesses must adhere to strict social distancing rules.
Face masks must be worn on public transport at all times, the cost of which has been lowered to 50c per mask. Anybody with a fever must stay home.
“Businesses concerned are allowed to reopen under the assumption of compliance with the security protocols,” he said.
“There will also be safety measures for the transport companies.”
If these first measures prove successful, Italy will reopen its cultural sites including museums and exhibitions on May 18.
Further updates are expected throughout the month.
“If the curve rises during phase two, we need to respond rapidly,” added Conte.
“If we don’t respect the rules the curve will rise again, deaths will increase and there will be irreversible damage to our economy.”
“If you love Italy, keep your distance from others.”