Covid-19: Italy maps out recovery as travel ban ends

Italy "deserves to smile" after all the sacrifices says Conte.

The coronavirus crisis should be used to "redesign" Italy, said premier Giuseppe Conte on 3 June as he laid out plans for the next phase of the covid-19 emergency.

Conte said that Italy had an "historic opportunity" to renew the country by using grants and loans from the European Union to enact ecomonic, structural and social reforms, with a particular focus on the poorer south.

The premier also said that statistics on the coronavirus emergency have been "encouraging" over the four weeks since the easing of restrictions on 4 May, adding: "We deserve to smile after weeks of hard sacrifices."

Noting that the acute stage of the emergency was now in the past, Conte said however that Italians must continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

"The trend is decreasing constantly from Lombardy to Sicily but the virus has not disappeared," he said.

Conte's address coincided with the lifting of inter-regional travel restrictions and the reopening of borders to EU visitors as Italy attempts to revive its crucial tourism industry.