Italian cafes ready to reopen ahead of easing of COVID-19 restrictions

Restrictions on many businesses, including restaurants, bars and cinemas, will be relaxed in many Italian regions from Monday, as the government slowly rolls back coronavirus curbs in low-infection areas.

Italy, which has registered the second-highest number of coronavirus deaths in Europe, reintroduced tough nationwide curbs last autumn when the second wave of cases hit the country.


'Marco Martini'

Employees of Michelin-starred "Marco Martini" restaurant are seen during the reorganisation of the restaurant as owners prepare outdoor dining in order to be ready for April 26 when restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will relax and people can dine outside, in Rome, Italy.



Fourteen of Italy's 20 regions, including Lazio, centred on Rome, and Lombardy centred on Milan, will become moderate-risk yellow zones from April 26, after weeks of being designated as higher risk orange and red zones.


Outdoor dining ready

A government decision to keep a 10 p.m. (2000 GMT) nightly curfew despite requests from coalition parties and regional governors to push it back to 11 p.m. has angered some restaurateurs, who had hoped for a full reopening.

People are used to having supper between around 8.30 to 9.30 p.m. in Italy, and maintaining an early curfew was expected to deter diners.


Piazza Navona

A view shows the terrace of a closed restaurant on April 24, 2021 on Piazza Navona in downtown Rome, two days prior to the partial reopening of bars, restaurants, cinemas and concert halls across Italy, in a boost for coronavirus-hit businesses, as the government unveils further details of its EU-funded recovery plan.


Downtown Rome

Italy subsequently adopted a four-tier, colour-coded system based on local infection levels, but shunted the entire nation into red or orange zones for the past six weeks to take pressure off hospitals and to let the vaccination campaign gather speed.


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