In pictures: Four million Italians return to work as two-month coronavirus lockdown is eased

Yahoo News UK

More than four million Italians returned to work on Monday as the government began to ease the coronavirus lockdown.

Almost two months after they were ordered to stay at home in the effort to fight the spread of COVID-19, Italians were allowed to take trains and buses and parks were reopened.

The health ministry reported 174 deaths in the 24 hours up until Sunday evening - the lowest daily total since the lockdown began on March 10.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been 28,884 deaths from coronavirus in Italy, and more than 210,000 cases.

On Monday, 4.5m people were allowed back to work, while construction can also resume and relatives can reunite.

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Cafes were allowed to open for the first time since the lockdown for takeaways.

However, several restrictions remain in place. Friends are not allowed to meet up, while most shops must stay closed until 18 May and schools, cinemas and theatres remain shut indefinitely.

More than 1,000 daily new cases of COVID-19 are still being reported daily in Italy.

“If we want to avoid painful backward steps, now more than ever, we need co-operation, a sense of responsibility, respect for the rules by all,” said Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

Gianluca Martucci joined the ranks of those returning to work for the first time in two months, pulling up the shutters on a small warehouse which houses the catering firm he works for in Rome.

“It is good to be back, but the world has totally changed,” he said.

“The government has been very wise so far, but I worry that we might be starting up a little too soon. I don’t know if the country could survive a second wave.”

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People walk off a train at the Cadorna railway station as they arrive in Milan, Italy.
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People disembark from train in Rome that has just arrived from Milan on Monday.
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A chain and a sign forbidding access to the front of the vehicle and the driver's area is pictured in a public transport bus in Rome Monday.
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A woman holds a yoga posture as she exercises by the Colosseum monument in Rome on Monday.
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A waitress handles a takeaway coffee at a pastry shop in the Portuense district of Rome on Monday.
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Passengers leave a train of the Metro B line in Rome, Italy, on Monday.
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Signs warn against sitting on some seats on a bus in Rome on Monday.
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Passengers are forbidden from sitting on some seats on this bus in Rome, Italy, on Monday.
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People enjoy the Villa Borghese park in Rome, Italy, on Monday.
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A waiter at Caffe Cracco in Milan handles takeaway coffee on Monday.
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Protesters demonstrate against the government and banks due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus in Piazza del Duomo in Milan, Italy, on Monday.
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A gondolier attends a flashmob protest to ask for an immediate reopening of tourism activities in Venice, Italy, on Monday.
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Owners of commercial activities, tourism operators, and workers in the hospitality sector protest at the lockdown in Venice.
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People with protective masks wait for a train in Turin, Italy, on Monday.
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Commuters sit in a coach of the B Line of the underground metro on Monday in Rome.
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Stickers warn commuters not to sit on seats in a coach of the B Line of the underground metro on Monday in Rome.
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People stage a protest against the government in front of the Duomo in Milan, Italy.
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People arrive at Termini station in Rome on Monday.
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Travellers queue at Naples Central Station in Italy as lockdown measures were eased on Monday.
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