EU citizens will be free to cross the Italian border without quarantine from June 3 in a “calculated risk” to reopen the country after weeks of lockdown.
Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, made the announcement late Saturday, saying the move could push “the contagion curve” up again but that he had little choice.
“We’re facing a calculated risk in the knowledge that the contagion curve may rise again,” Conte said. “We have to accept it otherwise we will never be able to start up again.”
He said the country could not wait until a vaccine against the virus is developed because “we would end up with a strongly damaged economic and social structure”.
There have been 31,763 recorded deaths from the coronavirus in Italy, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, although the country’s infection rate has fallen fast in recent days.
Italy’s death toll is the third highest globally, behind the U.S. and U.K.
Rome started easing the lockdown earlier this month. Factories and parks have been open since May 4.
The latest containment-easing measures will grant Italians access to swimming pools, gyms and sports centers from May 25. Cinemas and theatres are free to reopen their doors from June 15.