April 27, 2020 / 11:06 AM / a month ago

FACTBOX-Italy opts for cautious, gradual reopening after coronavirus lockdown

ROME, April 27 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has laid out a detailed plan for a very gradual end to Europe’s longest coronavirus lockdown.

Here are the main measures:

FROM APRIL 27

All public works considered strategic, relating to hydrogeological instability, school building, public housing and prisons, can resume. Conte said some key export-oriented firms could also reopen if they get permission from local officials.

FROM MAY 4

The manufacturing, construction and wholesale sectors will be allowed to reopen providing companies can comply with strict health safety protocols. Firms in these sectors can start to prepare for reopening from April 27.

People will be able to visit relatives, but only in small numbers. Masks are expected to be worn during such visits and social-distancing rules still apply.

Masks will have to be worn whenever social-distancing rules cannot be guaranteed. The price of the masks will be set at 0.50 euros ($0.54) and be exempt from sales tax.

Parks will reopen, unless mayors decide otherwise. People can exercise freely, but organised sport, both professional and amateur, remains banned.

Religious ceremonies, such as Mass, remain off-limits, but funerals can take place with up to 15 people allowed to attend. The Roman Catholic Church has denounced the curbs.

Walk-in food takeaway shops can reopen.

People will not be able to leave their regions of residence, “except for proven working needs, of absolute urgency or for health reasons”.

Anyone who has a temperature above 37.5 Celsius (99.5 Fahrenheit) must stay at home and inform their doctor.

FROM MAY 18

The government has said it hopes that shops, museums and libraries can reopen from this date. Strict social-distancing rules will apply. Museum tickets will have to be bought online.

Team training for sports, including soccer, should be allowed from May 18. No decision has yet been taken on when or if championships can resume.

These plans might change if the reopenings envisaged from May 4 lead to another sharp rise in infections.

FROM JUNE 1

Conte said the plan was for bars and restaurants to reopen from this date. Clients will have to be one metre (3.3 feet) apart at the counter, while tables will have to be two metres apart. Staff must wear masks and gloves.

Hairdressers and beauty clinics should also reopen.

STILL CLOSED

Cinemas, theatres, pubs, discos, dance schools and betting shops will remain closed with no indication given on when they might reopen.

Schools will stay shuttered for the rest of the academic year, but Conte said he hoped they might open in September “in the best possible way”. ($1 = 0.9220 euros) (Reporting by Crispian Balmer and Francesca Piscioneri Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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