• Esteban Chaves winning Stage 19 of the 2019 Giro D'Italia. (Getty)Source: Getty
While movement between regions remains suspended, there is still hope racing in Italy may happen this year as the country prepares to slowly lift the coronavirus lockdown from 4 May.
27 Apr 2020 - 5:12 PM  UPDATED 27 Apr 2020 - 5:29 PM

More than two months after the first case of COVID-19 appeared in a small town outside Milan and following weeks of lockdown, Italy is looking ahead to a second phase of the crisis in which it will attempt to restart the economy without triggering a new wave of infections.

Non-essential cycling outside, limited family visits and funerals with no more than 15 people present will be permitted from May 4. Factories, parks, and building sites will also reopen as Italy prepares a staged end to Europe’s longest coronavirus lockdown. 

Museums and libraries can reopen from May 18, when sports teams will also be able to resume group training, although Conte said conditions would have to be assessed before any decision on resuming the top-flight Serie A soccer championship.

“We expect a very complex challenge,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said yesterday as he outlined the road map to restarting activities put into hibernation since early March.

“We will live with the virus and we will have to adopt every precaution possible.”

But movement between regions remains suspended and people moving about will still have to carry a declaration explaining the reasons for their journeys.

Manufacturers, construction companies and some wholesalers will be allowed to reopen from May 4, followed by retailers two weeks later. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen fully from the beginning of June, although takeaway business will be possible earlier.

“The reopening is allowed on condition that all companies involved strictly respect security protocols in the workplace,” Conte said, adding that the reopening would lay the ground for deeper reforms of the economy in the months ahead.

Schools will remain shut, however, until the start of the new academic year in September, leaving families facing childcare problems for months to come.

Meanwhile in France where pro and recreational riders are also under a heavily enforced strict lockdown and can't cycle outdoors, the national cycling federation (FFC) called for such restrictions to be lifted. L'Equipe subsequently reported yesterday French pro riders will be allowed to train outside from 11 May.