Italy Looks to Ease Lockdown As Others Debate Next Steps
From the BBC, Italy is looking to start easing it’s nation-wide lockdown next week after suffering the highest death toll of any European nation at 26K+ and counting:
Italians have been living under a national stay-at-home order since 9 March, with everyone required to remain within a few streets of their door.
The country brought in very limited easing of its virus control measures on 14 April, permitting some small shops – including bookstores, dry cleaners and stationers – to reopen. The businesses chosen were deemed to be lower risk as they rarely attract crowds.
This is a roadmap to reopening for a country that has endured hell, but it could take years for it to recover, the BBC’s Mark Lowen in Rome reports.
If infections show an increase again, the government will have powers to intervene to reintroduce certain restrictions, our correspondent adds.
What is happening elsewhere?
Spain – the European country with the highest number of deaths after Italy – reported its lowest daily death toll in more than five weeks on Sunday, with 288 new fatalities. On Sunday, children could go outside for the first time in six weeks.
In Switzerland, garden centres and hairdressers will open their doors on Monday, followed by schools and shops selling items other than food in two weeks’ time.
But gatherings of more than five people remain banned until 8 June, and it is unclear when bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen.
In neighbouring Germany, facemasks have become mandatory in public transport. The new rules have created huge demand for the product and, as a result, a growing shortage, so the government is planning to manufacture millions of masks in Germany.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to work on Monday, after recovering from the virus. Mr Johnson spent a week in hospital, including three nights in intensive care, after being admitted on 5 April.
In the US, where more than 54,000 deaths and over 940,000 cases have been confirmed, Tennessee, Colorado and Montana joined four other states in allowing certain businesses to reopen.
Eight states led by Republican governors – Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming – never issued mandatory stay-at-home orders.