Easing Italy's lockdown 'is a risk we're taking': health minister

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Easing Italy's lockdown 'is a risk we're taking': health minister
Italy's Health Minister Roberto Speranza. File photo: AFP

The Italian government's decision to allow travel between Italy's regions from June 3rd is not without risk as the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Monday.


"There is a risk and it would be wrong not to admit it," Speranza told Rai, Italy's national broadcaster.

"It's clear that it is a risk we are taking, because zero risk does not exist at the moment and it will only exist when there is a vaccine."

"Until then, it is a question of taking calculated risks and of trying to manage a different phase."

Ahead of the further easing of restrictions on Wednesday,  some of Italy's top health experts have been questioning the accuracy of contagion data being released by regional governments during the reopening phase.

One independent report also warned that three northern regions were "not ready" to safely reopen.


As travel in Europe restarts, some countries, including Switzerland and Greece, are set to ban arrivals from Italy - or from certain Italian regions - amid ongoing concerns about the situation in the country.
However, the Italian government decided on Friday to press ahead with allowing interregional travel.

Speranza said it was "undeniable" that there were "differences in the situation" across the national territory, but "at the moment that the figures tell us that, while it is true that there are quantitative differences, the trend of all the regions is going in the right direction, is going down".

He added that other countries are "not justified" in barring italians from entering "because the current situation in Italy is of a superior level than the average of other EU countries."

"We had an extremely difficult emergency phase, and we were the first ones to take very tough decisions.”

Speranza has repeatedly warned that people must not let their guard down yet, and that "social distancing and precautionary measures will be crucial."

"Woe betide us if we think we've won and everything is over," he said.

Speranza last week warned that italy "must be ready" for a possible second wave of contagion.



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