Italy to Phase Out Curfew in Push to Restart Economy

Italy is moving to reopen its economy as the number of Covid-19 cases ebbs and the vaccination program takes hold.

Mario Draghi’s administration agreed to start phasing out a national curfew currently set at 10 p.m., aiming to remove it on June 21 in low-risk regions, if infections keep declining, according to an official at the Prime Minister’s office, who asked not to be named.

At a Monday meeting in Rome, the government also approved indoor dining, including in the evening, from June 1, and speeding the reopening of other businesses including gyms, the official said. A cabinet meeting approved the plan later Monday, the official said.

The new rules will also allow attending outdoor sports venues and shopping in large shopping malls at weekends.

The new timeline comes in the wake of weeks of campaigning by politicians calling for a faster reopening of the economy, led by League chief Matteo Salvini.

Vaccination impact

Italy has seen a steady drop in cases in recent weeks, with 140 deaths Monday. The number of fatalities fell to 93 on Sunday, the first day below 100 since October. Cases fell to 3,455 Monday, also the lowest since October, from 5,753 the day before.

The country’s vaccination drive is also gaining steam. Italy has administered more than 27 million shots, and 31% of the population has now had at lease one dose.

Hundreds of people lined up in the region surrounding the capital Rome over the weekend to take advantage of a government initiative to offer shots of the AstraZeneca PLC vaccine to those as young as 40.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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