Italy to ease covid-19 restrictions from 26 April

Italy will let restaurants with outdoor seating reopen for lunch and dinner in yellow zones.

Italy will begin to relax its coronavirus restrictions significantly from Monday 26 April as part of a nationwide roadmap to reopen businesses, the prime minister Mario Draghi announced this afternoon.

Draghi described the move as a "calculated risk" based on "improving" coronavirus contagion data, adding that "it is possible to look to the future with cautious optimism and confidence."

The easing of restrictions will see the return of the lower-risk yellow zone, in a 'reinforced' version, after weeks of Italy being divided between high-risk red and medium-risk orange zones.

The move will see restaurants and bars with outdoor seating permitted to serve customers at table, both for lunch and dinner, with the current nightly curfew of 22.00 remaining in place.

The premier also said that a ban on movement between Italy's regions will come to an end, with no travel restrictions between yellow zones and the introduction of a pass allowing people to travel between regions of different colours.

Schools and universities will resume lessons in the classroom fully for all students, everywhere except in the highest-risk red zones where senior high-school students will continue their studies via remote learning.

Cultural and sporting events will be permitted to resume outdoors, with museums and archaeological sites allowed to open in yellow zones.

Cinemas and theatres will also be allowed to stage screenings and performances indoors under strict conditions and limited capacity.

Beach 'stabilimenti' and outdoor swimming pools can reopen, under certain restrictions, from 15 May, while gyms and indoor leisure centres can reopen from 1 June, again under strict conditions.

For official information relating to Italy's covid-19 restrictions, in English, see the health ministry website.

Photo credit: Kirk Fisher / Shutterstock.com.