ROME 

Italy will allow international travel to and from the country from June 3, according to a decree signed by the government on Saturday.

People will also be allowed to move freely within the country from the same date, as Italy looks to gradually end its coronavirus lockdown measures.

Bars, restaurants, and hairdressers are set to reopen from Monday, about two weeks ahead of schedule, as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government surrendered to growing pressure from struggling business owners.

After reaching an agreement with regional governors, the government unveiled general guidelines on Saturday that will allow businesses to restart their activities.

Restaurants will have to ensure a distance of at least one meter between customers, who will be obliged to make reservations.

Business owners are also requested to keep records of the reservations for at least two weeks to help track possible infections.

The guidelines also recommend temperature checks for diners on arrival.

The one-meter distance also has to be applied for people standing at bar counters for drinks.

Hairdressers and beauty salons also have to start taking reservations and must ensure strict sanitary measures.

Both workers and clients will be obliged to wear protective masks and clients will not be allowed to chat while waiting for their turn.

Many retailers, however, are staging protests across Italy, saying the new rules remain unclear and may cause further damage to their businesses.

The government decided to allow businesses to open ahead of schedule amid pressure from local governors to ease lockdown rules, as the number of new COVID-19 cases has slowed significantly.

On Friday, Italy reported 242 more fatalities, bringing the toll to 31,610, while active cases fell by 4,370 to 72,070.

Of the total of nearly 224,000 cases reported in the country to date, more than 120,200 people have recovered, as per official figures.

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