Coronavirus: Italy reopens with strict guidelines after nearly two months

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 04, 2020, 10:00 PM IST


Story highlights

4.5 million people are returning to work but not without masks and gloves.

Italy is of the countries worst hit by the pandemic. It recorded the third-highest number of cases in the world and lost around 29,000 people to the Wuhan virus.

Nearly 2 months of closure later, Italy has finally eased lockdown restrictions. The country has allowed 4.5 million people to return to work. Restaurants, parks and public transports have been re-opened too.

For Italy, the tunnel of ordeal seems to be finally coming to an end. The country is finally re-opening, lockdown restrictions have been eased and Rome is trying to usher in a new normal.

This one-- revolves around social distancing. Factories and construction sites have been given the green light.

4.5 million people are returning to work but not without masks and gloves.

This factory near Turin is carrying out temperature checks. There are social distancing indicators inside the building too.

Traffic in downtown Rome too has picked up the pace, buses and trains have been allowed to ply.

Again, under strict social distancing protocols. Military and police have been deployed on Italy's streets. They have been tasked with ensuring that every new rule is followed.

Red circles have been placed on Milan's train stations. The idea is to maintain a one-meter distance between passengers. They have also been asked to maintain a one-seat gap.

A Milan resident said: "We hope that this situation will end soon but I don't think it will be that easy to get there."

Another resident who is also a student said: "I hope people will have common sense and understand that even if they can move around, they still have to be cautious and that they have to act in a responsible way.''

There are mixed emotions across Italy. Some are relieved while others are nervous about the future.

Take the auto sector for example. It has been allowed to restart. But car dealers across Italy have a question.

Who will buy the cars?

Francesco Barbuscia, the CEO of Barbuscia auto SRL: "There's a mix of excitement and fear because the question is who will come when we reopen to buy a car. This is a game-changer for all of us, and certainly for the automotive dealerships."

Some are excited about the future. Silvia Poletto's children are planning to meet their grandmother in the countryside after almost 3 months. Italian authorities have allowed relatives to reunite in small groups. She said: "It will be amazing because they will have open-air and their grandmother all at once. So, I'm really emotional about that, I can't wait for it."

Restaurants too have been allowed to reopen but for takeaway only.

Other businesses like-- bars, ice-cream parlours, salons will have to wait another month before they can welcome customers. School and colleges too will remain closed till then.