Coronavirus: Italy set to relax lockdown on 4 May

Italy set to loosen coronavirus restrictions as it enters post-lockdown Phase Two.

As Italy prepares to unveil its Phase Two plan, the post-lockdown period of "co-existing" with the coronavirus, the country is set to restart much of its production and industrial activities on 4 May, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

Quoting sources from Palazzo Chigi, ANSA and other Italian media outlets report that the government is considering the reopening of clothes shops from around the middle of May, possibly on 11 May.

This would be followed - according to ANSA - by allowing restaurants and bars (cafes) to operate a take-away service - in addition to home delivery which is already permitted - possibly from 18 May.

Nothing has been decided yet, the sources told ANSA, but these are the dates the government is said to be considering.

Government sources also told ANSA that people would be allowed to move around in their towns and cities of residence, as well as within their region, from 4 May, however travelling between regions would remain prohibited.

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Walks would be allowed but parks would remain closed; visiting relations and going to second homes would be allowed too, sources told ANSA, underlining that the wearing of masks and social distancing measures would remain in place as the country "restarts under the utmost caution."

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte is expected to unveil details of Italy's Phase Two plan by the end of this week, outlining the gradual loosening of the restrictions in place since the country went into lockdown on 10 March.

The news comes as the number of people infected with the coronavirus continued to fall in Italy on 22 April and the numbers to have recovered from the virus in one day reached a record of almost 3,000, according to figures released by Italy's civil protection authority.

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