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Italy enters phase-two of Covid-19 emergency

A car of the Carabinieri police patrols past the Colosseum monument in central Rome on May 4, 2020 as Italy starts to ease its lockdown. (Photo by AFP)

On Monday, Italy moved to phase two of the coronavirus emergency by starting to relax some of the stringent lockdown restrictions that have been in force since March 10.

With construction and manufacturing sectors resuming activity, over 4 million people have returned to their occupations provided that workplaces can meet social distancing rules.

Italians will now be able to travel within regions to visit relatives or anyone with whom they have a stable emotional relation. Parks have also been allowed to reopen while schools, cinemas and museums will remain shut.

However not everybody has been pleased with the government's cautious relaxation of the lockdown measures. Some entrepreneurs and shopkeepers have argued that many of the restrictions of the past eight weeks will remain in place resulting in huge economic losses for them.

Activities such as barbers, hairdressers, gyms will stay shut possibly until June 1 while restaurants and bars can only offer takeaways.

The pandemic in Italy has claimed about 29,000 lives so far, second only to the US. Prime Minister Conte has made it clear that Italy is still in the full throes of the pandemic despite a drop in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths has been recorded lately Conte has warned that evidence of a rise in infections in the coming weeks could lead to restrictive measures being reintroduced.