Following pressure from regional leaders, the Italian government will allow the reopening of bars and restaurants from next Monday, May 18. The original date had been June 1.

Also included in the relaxation of rules will be hairdressing and beauty salons as well as museums and libraries. Originally, retailers other than food shops were authorised to reopen on May 18.

Regulations will be strict, including four-metre distancing between restaurant tables.

On Monday Italy recorded the lowest daily rise in coronavirus cases since March 4, at 744 new cases. New deaths rose by 179 to a total of 30,739.