After more than two months in lockdown, Italians are being allowed to venture out more this week. The nation that has seen more than 32,000 COVID-19 deaths (with many more suspected) allowed bars, churches, restaurants, and salons to reopen Monday. Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte acknowledged that easing the lockdown before contact tracing and mass testing protocols are in place is a “calculated risk.” But, he added: “We have to accept it, otherwise we will never be able to start up again.”
Italians have greeted the reopening by flocking to salons — with manicures, pedicures, and body waxing in high demand, according to one industry representative. But restaurants and many shops have not seen as much business. And some owners have calculated that reopening, even with social-distancing measures in place and a cautious population, is not worth the trouble. Here are images of what life is like in a former epicenter of the pandemic.