Italy has eased its movement restrictions after a two-month lockdown in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Around 4.4 million people will return to work on Monday, after being confined to their homes since early March.

Italy was the first European country to have a serious outbreak of COVID-19. There have been more than 28,000 deaths in the country and 210,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus.

But the country has seen a decrease in the daily death toll and hospitalisations with 174 people dying on Sunday.

Now Italy will enter “phase 2” of its lockdown, as companies reopen with social distancing measures in place.

Italians must wear face masks on public transportation and in public spaces but will now be able to leave their region for health reasons, work, or to return to a residence.

Workplaces will have to limit contact between employees who will wear masks.

A line of 100 travellers waited for the train from Milan to Naples on Monday, Italian news agency ANSA reported, but there was a physical distance between travellers waiting to take the first train out of the city.

More cars were seen on the road and some runners took advantage of parks and gardens being reopened in the country.

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
Mounted Police patrol Villa Borghese park in Rome, Monday, May 4, 2020AP Photo/Alessandra TarantinoAlessandra Tarantino

Milanese daily newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that there was more traffic in the capital of Lombardy, which was the region with the most cases in Italy.

Overcrowding on busses and metro was largely under control, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The hashtags “Phase 2” and “May 4th” were both trending on Twitter Monday morning.

This second phase of lockdown means that restaurants will now be open for takeaway in addition to home delivery. Funeral services can be attended by up to 15 people provided everyone wears a mask.

Those who have coronavirus symptoms or a fever of more than 37.5 degrees Celsius must stay at home as officials continue to trace potential cases and contacts.

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