Italy Eases Lockdown Restrictions As COVID-19 Cases Start to Fall
After weeks of an almost complete lockdown, coffee bars, restaurants, and cinemas across Italy reopened on Monday as COVID-19 cases fell throughout the country.
Fourteen of the country's regions are now designated "yellow," or low COVID-19 risk. Another five regions are currently at an orange level. Only one region, Sardinia, remains under red alert, Reuters reported.
Although restaurants can once again welcome back customers, a 10 p.m. curfew is still in place.
"I hope this will really be a reopening and not a kind of hiccup like last summer," Elisabetta Marchi, who was visiting Rome from Florence, told Reuters.
Cultural establishments like cinemas and museums may hold outdoor events and indoor capacity is limited to 50%. Schools and universities in yellow and orange zones are permitted to resume in-person learning.
The Colosseum also re-opened for individual visitors, however group tours are not permitted just yet.
More restrictions are set to be rolled back over the coming weeks, with pools and gyms scheduled to open with certain health procedures.
Meanwhile, Italy has joined several countries in imposing a travel ban against arrivals from India. As India battles a growing wave of COVID-19, Italy has banned travelers who have been in India within the previous 14 days.
Italian residents are permitted to return home from India, although they must produce two negative COVID-19 tests (one at departure and one at arrival), then go into quarantine, according to Reuters. Those who had already arrived in Italy after having spent time in India were requested to undergo a swab test.
India has now reported more than 17.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Sunday, India reported the highest single-day increase in cases in the world for the fourth consecutive day.