Italy’s cabinet unveils roadmap for reopening

Medical workers visit the home of a patient suspected to be suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to carry out a swab test, as a part of an initiative by the Spallazani hospital to help elderly people who struggle to leave their homes, in Rome, Italy

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet on Wednesday unveiled a roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions in Italy starting from April 26.

The move came as the pandemic appears moderately under control in the country, with active coronavirus cases falling.

The new measures will remain in force until July 31, the date to which the government has extended the state of emergency declared last year at the outbreak of the crisis.

The yellow areas in the government’s three-tiered system would be re-introduced starting from Monday, adding to the orange and red ones, so that Italian regions will again shift periodically from one to another according to local contagion levels.

In the low-risk yellow regions, restaurants and all other food shops will be allowed to serve lunch and dinner outdoors until June 1.

From June 1 on, indoor services will be allowed, but only until 6 p.m.

Outdoor team sports will resume from April 26, while swimming pools from May 15, and fitness centers from June 1, according to the plan.

All competition sports will resume from June 1, with spectators allowed up to 25 percent of the full capacity of the facility, but not exceeding 500 people indoors or 1,000 outdoors.

Theaters, cinemas, and other leisure venues will reopen on April 26, with the same cap for capacity.

Under the decree, exhibitions and fairs would restart from June 15, while thermal baths and amusement parks from July 1.

Regions in orange or red will remain subject to the current level of restrictions consistent with medium- or high-risk contagion.

Currently, only three regions — southern Apulia, northern Aosta Valley, and Sardinia Island — were red zones.

From April 26 to June 15, people in the yellow regions will be allowed one visit a day to relatives or friends, four adults maximum plus children.

Starting Monday, the current ban on inter-regional travels would not apply to yellow regions. Moving to and from orange and red zones will be possible for those with a “green COVID-19 card” indicating a swab test valid over 48 hours, full vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 in the last 6 months.

After a robust discussion among the various parties, the cabinet also confirmed the current 10 p.m.-5 p.m. curfew to stay in force at least till June 1.

In mid-May, the reopening roadmap might be adjusted according to the pandemic situation, local media reported.

As of Wednesday, Italy has registered 3.9 million cases after reporting 13,844 new cases, according to the Health Ministry.

Active infections decreased daily by 7,080 cases to a total of 475,635. Recoveries grew by 20,552 to 3.3 million, while the death toll rose by 364 to 117,997, data also showed.

Some 16.1 million vaccine doses have been administered and 4.7 million people fully vaccinated, according to latest government statistics.

Meanwhile globally, some 275 candidate vaccines are being developed — 91 of them in clinical trials — in countries including India, Italy’s cabinet unveils roadmap for reopeningGermany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to latest information from the World Health Organization.

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