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Here are the businesses that can start reopening in Italy

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Here are the businesses that can start reopening in Italy
A few select shops will be allowed to reopen in Italy from April 14. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

As Italy begins to plan the slow transition out of total coronavirus lockdown, the government will allow the first businesses to reopen from today. (Paywall Free)


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Bookshops, dry cleaners and shops selling baby clothes are among a handful of previously closed businesses permitted to reopen from April 14 under the Italian government's latest decree – though some regions of Italy have said they'll delay the restart longer.

The new rules replace an earlier order under which only supermarkets, pharmacies and a select few other shops were allowed to continue trading as part of Italy's efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

READ ALSO: What are Italy's coronavirus quarantine rules?

All other quarantine restrictions remain the same, including the order to stay indoors as much as possible, the ban on public gatherings and the compulsory form needed to justify any trips outside

The updated rules are set to remain in place until at least May 3.


Which businesses are allowed to reopen?

Here are the shops added to the government's latest list of 'essential businesses' allowed to operate throughout quarantine:

  • Bookshops
  • Stationery shops
  • Children's clothing shops
  • Dry cleaners
  • Laundromats

This is in addition to supermarkets, grocers, corner shops, pharmacies, household goods stores, pet shops, home appliances and electronics stores, and delivery services, which remain running as they have done since the start of Italy's lockdown.

All shops are required to enforce social distancing and hygiene measures, namely limiting the number of customers inside at once, wearing face masks, providing disposable gloves and cleaning at least twice a day. 

READ ALSO: When should you wear a face mask in Italy?

At the same time a number of industries are allowed to resume activity, including:

  • Manufacture of computers and other electronics
  • Forestry
  • Landscape maintenance
  • Manufacture of tools and machine parts
  • Manufacture of radiators and heaters
  • Wood and cork industries
  • Wholesale of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals

Find the full list of essential industries here.


Are the rules the same all over Italy?

No: Italian regions are free to impose stricter rules and several say they'll keep tight limits on which businesses can open.

Piedmont will not allow any extra shops to reopen, while Sardinia will delay reopening until April 26. Lazio will keep bookshops closed until April 20.

No extra shops will be allowed to reopen in Emilia Romagna's so-called 'orange zone', namely the provinces of Rimini and Piacenza and the city of Medicina, though the rules will be relaxed in the rest of the region.

In Lombardy, children's clothes shops can reopen from April 14 but book stores and stationers cannot.

Campania is also keeping bookshops and stationers closed, and will only allow kids' clothes shops to open twice a week from 8 am to 2 pm.

READ ALSO: Why the coronavirus quarantine rules aren't always the same around Italy

In Tuscany, designated shops can only reopen if both staff and customers wear face masks. The minimum distance required between members of the public has also been upped to 1.8 metres instead of 1 metre.

In contrast the rules have been relaxed further in Liguria, where shipyards are allowed to resume work on private boats and people who run beach kiosks and bathing facilities are allowed to carry out maintenance.

And while Trentino is keeping bookshops, stationers and children's stores closed, it has given the green light to "outdoor production activities" so long as distancing and other health precautions are taken.

Check the website of your local region or comune to find out the latest rules where you are.

Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

When might other businesses start reopening?

Italy's government could yet announce further reopenings before the current lockdown restrictions expire on May 3.

ANALYSIS: How and when will Italy's lockdown end?

Among the sectors pushing to restart are the fashion industry, car manufacturing and metal making. The government is set to meet industry representatives over the coming days, with talk of a new wave of reopenings from April 20.

But most of Italy's coronavirus restrictions are certain to be extended in some form beyond May 3, as the country plots a cautious route out of quarantine that experts expect to take several months.


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