Health and Healthcare Systems

Italy looks to reopen borders next month as lockdown measures ease

A general view shows the Naxos beach, usually a tourist hotspot in Sicily, as Italy begins to ease some of the restrictions of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, in Taormina, Italy, May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello - RC21NG964DCL

Restrictions have seen Italian beaches deserted. Image: REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

Angelo Amante
Journalist, Reuters
Giulio Piovaccari
Correspondent, Reuters
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Health and Healthcare Systems?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Italy is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Italy

  • Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced a further loosening of restrictions.
  • All travel restrictions will be lifted from the beginning of June.
  • Shops, bars and restaurants are due to reopen from tomorrow (18 May).

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte outlined a further loosening of movement restrictions on Saturday, including opening borders to travellers from Europe from next month to unwind one of the world’s most rigid coronavirus lockdowns.

With shops as well as bars and restaurants due to reopen from Monday, the government has also announced that people will no longer have to justify travel within their own region and will be able to meet friends as well as family.

Have you read?

“People will be able to go wherever they want - to a shop, to the mountains, to a lake or the seaside,” he said.

The announcements came as coronavirus deaths in Italy, the third-highest in the world, fell to 153 on Saturday, the lowest since March 9.

A ban on travel between regions and abroad will remain in place until after Italy’s June 2 Republic Day holiday, preventing any mass travel over that long holiday weekend.

But all travel curbs will be lifted from June 3 and travellers from European Union countries will be able to enter without going into quarantine, offering some hope ahead of the summer to the vital tourism sector.

Loading...

Conte said the decision to lift curbs was a “calculated risk” but added: “We’re facing this risk and we have to accept it because otherwise we will never get started again.”

Discover

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

Recession

Italy has had some 31,800 COVID-19 deaths since the disease first emerged in the northern region of Lombardy on Feb. 21, the highest total in the world after the United States and Britain.

In a bid to contain the contagion, Italy was the first European country to impose nationwide restrictions in March, not sanctioning an initial relaxation of the rules until May 4, when it allowed factories and parks to reopen.

The changes announced by Conte take the process further. While large public gatherings will still be banned, church and other religious services can resume and museums and galleries will also be able to open.

Gyms, swimming pools and sports centres will reopen on May 25, while theatres and cinemas can reopen from June 15.

Loading...

With its economy facing severe recession and public debt expected to spiral to more than 150% of its annual economic output, the government has been desperate to get the country back to work without triggering a second wave in the epidemic.

Some regions had pushed for a swifter rollback, but Conte has insisted on a gradual return to normal. However, regions will have scope to decide individual measures as long as safety measures are respected.

People in quarantine or suffering from COVID-19 symptoms will have to remain in isolation and social distancing rules will continue to apply, and people are still advised to wear masks inside or on crowded streets.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Health and Healthcare SystemsIndustries in Depth
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Antimicrobial resistance is a leading cause of global deaths. Now is the time to act

Dame Sally Davies, Hemant Ahlawat and Shyam Bishen

May 16, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum