Europe’s top coronavirus hot spots are preparing to lift lockdown measures after seeing the biggest dip in daily new confirmed cases and deaths in weeks.
Italy, Spain, and France have all recorded their lowest daily spike in fatalities to date.
On Monday, Italy recorded just 174 coronavirus-related deaths within a 24-hour period – the lowest daily increase in two months, Sky News reported. Spain’s 164 new death count was the lowest daily increase since mid-March. In France, 135 deaths were recorded overnight.
Italy, the first country in the world to implement a nationwide lockdown on March 10, is allowing parks and public gardens to reopen starting Monday.
For the first time in nearly two months, Italians are permitted to visit relatives within the same region. Restaurants can offer takeaway, and athletes can resume training for individual sports.
Italy remains the hardest hit in Europe after the novel virus broke out of China, where it first originated in the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province in late November.
Starting Monday, masks will be mandatory for all those riding on public transportation in Spain as the country eases on its lockdown first implemented on March 14.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said his government would give out 6 million masks to various transportation locations, as well as an additional 7 million masks to local authorities, the BBC reported.
For the first time in seven weeks, most adults on Saturday were permitted outdoors to exercise, walk or play individual sports between 06:00 and 10:00, and between 20:00 and 23:00.
Under “la cuarentena” – or quarantine in Spanish – people were only allowed to step outdoors to visit the grocery store or the pharmacy, to briefly walk their dogs or to go to work if working from home was not possible.
France will begin easing lockdown measures on May 11 but has extended its state of emergency until at least July 24.
French government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye said Sunday that the government planned to implement a two-week quarantine for all travelers – both French citizens and foreign nationals – entering the country from anywhere other than the United Kingdom or Europe’s Schengen open-border area.
Ndiaye added that the government would release a list of at-risk countries but did not provide further details, according to Sky News.
If a downward trajectory in daily cases continues, French children will return to school, some businesses will reopen and people will be allowed to travel within about 60 miles of their homes starting May 11.