Italy has endured Europe’s longest lockdown, but when Italy enters “Phase Two” tomorrow, many people will be disappointed.
Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, outlined plans to relax the quarantine last week. Many people expressed disappointment over the plan details and described the plans as a “false reopening”.
Starting tomorrow, Italians will be able to travel within regions to visit relatives, as long as they wear masks, but gyms, hairdressers, schools, and others will remain closed. Restaurants will offer takeout food only. All travel between regions will remain banned, except for work, health, or emergency situations. Funerals will be allowed to have 15 people attend, but weddings and church services will still be banned.
People were disappointed after having been made to stay at home for more than 50 days. Many people were hoping for a quicker return to normal operations, especially in the south , where COVID-19 cases have been much lower than in the north.
Currently, restaurants, bars, hair salons, and more should reopen on June 1. Retailers and museums are scheduled to reopen on May 18. Factories geared toward exports and public construction projects resumed operation a few days ago on April 27. Most of Italy’s industry will resume operations tomorrow.
One of Italy’s most important sectors is tourism. Many experts predict that the impact of Covid-19 on tourism will be extreme. Italy’s National Confederation for Artisans and Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses (CNA) says that there will be 25 million fewer foreign tourists from July to September.