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Tuesday, 19 May, 2020, 12 : 30 PM [IST]

Italy, Spain further ease restrictions

Most businesses in Italy, including bars and hairdressers, are reopening after more than two months of nationwide lockdown measures.

Spain meanwhile has slightly eased restrictions on some of its least affected islands. The measures follow consistent drops in the number of daily recorded deaths. On Sunday, Italy recorded the fewest daily deaths since it entered lockdown in March.

It said 145 people had died with the virus in the previous 24 hours. This marked a significant drop from its highest daily death toll, which was more than 900 on 27 March.

In Spain, the daily death toll fell below 100 for the first time since it imposed its lockdown restrictions.

Restaurants, bars, cafes, hairdressers and shops have been allowed to reopen in Italy, providing social distancing is enforced.

Almost 32,000 people in Italy have died in the pandemic, and the economy is expected to shrink by nearly 10% this year.

Catholic churches are resuming Mass, but there is strict social distancing and worshippers must wear face masks. Other faiths are also being allowed to hold religious services.

But health officials have warned of the continued dangers of large social gatherings.

Pope Francis held a private Mass at St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, which has been disinfected ahead of its reopening to tourists. (Source: BBC News)

 
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