70% of the catering sector in Italy has reopened

An empty restaurant in downtown during Phase 2 of the Covid-19 emergency, in Milan, Italy. EPA-EFE/Paolo Salmoirago

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Some 90% of Italy’s clothing shops and 70% of the catering sector has reopened after lockdown was further eased in phase two of the coronavirus emergency, retail group Confcommercio said Tuesday.

The group said 40% of staff in restaurants and bars was still off work, however.

This amounted to 400,000 people, it said. Shops, restaurants, and churches across Italy began opening their doors for the first time in weeks Monday as lockdown restrictions continued to ease in what was once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

The restrictions were enforced March 9 to combat the skyrocketing death toll, which has grown to almost 32,000. But with the spread of the virus slowing, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said it was time to reopen the country to avoid further economic damage. Some Italians went back to work two weeks ago.


Photo EPA-EFE/Paolo Salmoirago

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