Italy spent the last weekend in strict confinement due to the coronavirus epidemic when the 28,000 deaths have already been exceeded, before starting on Monday 4 a gradual reopening of activities amid calls for prudence and demands from disgruntled sectors.
“The most difficult challenge begins on Monday. The second half of a game that we do not know how long will last and how it will end begins. extraordinary commissioner for the emergency, Domenico Arcuri.
With this sports simile, Arcuri recognized the danger that still lurks in the form of viruses and called again on the prudence of all Italians, to maintain “a reasonable balance between relative freedom and health”, in a press conference from the Civil Protection headquarters.
Since the first autochthonous case of the virus was detected in northern Italy, 207,000 have already been exceeded, but the favorable evolution of the contagion curve in recent weeks, as well as the reduction of pressure on hospitals, with less admitted, it is what has led the Government of Giuseppe Conte to decree the beginning of the lack of confidence and the partial reactivation of the economy by Monday.
Precisely after the May Day bridge with the aim of avoiding temptations to move to second homes or to beaches in the midst of an almost summer climate.
ON MAY 4, 4.5 MILLION PEOPLE RETURN TO WORK
From May 4, industry and manufacturing, the construction sector and wholesale trade will resume their activity, which will put into circulation 4.5 million previously confined people.
They will join essential business employees who never closed, such as groceries, pharmacies or gas stations, and bookstores and stationeries, which already opened in mid-April.
The parks will open and funerals can be held with a maximum number of 15 attendees, and you can visit close family members, but not do social gatherings.
Libraries, museums and retail stores are allowed to reopen from May 18, and on June 1 it will be the turn of bars, restaurants, hairdressers and beauty centers
All this, provided that these businesses can guarantee safety and distance between people and if there is no negative turn in the contagion curve within this period.
Nothing has been said so far of when they can reopen cinemas and theaters, and as for schools, they will not open this course anymore, only in September.
Throughout this week, public transport has been adapted in cities such as Rome, marking the seats that can be occupied in the metro and buses, or putting separation marks at stops, among other measures to guarantee safety and distance.
THE USE OF MASKS IS MANDATORY
The use of masks is required in this second phase, and if in the first weeks of the emergency the general trend was shortages, Arcuri said today that 165 million units have already been distributed to the regions.
“Starting Monday, citizens who want to buy the masks will find them at a maximum price of 50 euro cents at 50,000 points of sale, one for every 1,200 inhabitants,” said Arcuri.
“From mid-May, the points of sale will be 100,000, one for every 600 inhabitants,” he added.
Given the shortage problems – which were partly circumvented with purchases abroad and donations – Italy is now betting on national production, and in this sense Arcuri said that the regions have 47 million in storage, which in May will distribute 12 million a day , in June 18 million, in July, 25 million and in August 35 million.
He also reported that from Monday the serological tests will reach many laboratories selected by the Ministry of Health to start the study of the antibody sample of the first 150,000 Italians.
“Citizens will be contacted in the next few days and will be asked to undergo the test at the closest laboratory. Obviously they will do it for free,” he added.
SOME AIRPORTS REOPEN
Some Italian airports that were closed two months ago due to the drastic reduction in air traffic will reopen from Monday.
Ciampino airport, the second in Rome after Fiumicino, and Peretola, second in Tuscany after Pisa, will be able to open for commercial flights as of May 4, according to a statement from the transport ministry.
Ciampino mainly operates low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair, which practically grounded all its planes with the pandemic
According to the statement, systems to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have been installed at these two airports, which are not specified.
PROTESTS FROM SOME SECTORS AND REGIONS
The reopening calendar does not satisfy everyone equally. Southern regions, much less affected by the epidemic, protest that they cannot accelerate their return to normality.
In fact and paradoxically, as of May 4, the resumption of production activities will be concentrated precisely in the hardest hit areas, the Italian industrial north.
2.8 million workers from the north (Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Veneto and Marche) will return to work, compared to 812,000 in the center and 822,000 in the south.
And sectors such as hairdressers or restaurants have also protested having to wait until June 1 to reopen their businesses.