Italy records 222,104 coronavirus cases, as recoveries make over half of all cases
A further 195 COVID-19 patients had died in the past 24 hours in Italy, bringing the country's death toll to 31,106, out of total infection cases of 222,104, according to fresh figures on Wednesday.
The number of recoveries rose to 112,541, an increase of 3,502 compared to Tuesday. As the Civil Protection Department highlighted in its daily bulletin, recoveries now made over 50 percent of all cases.
Nationwide, the number of active infections fell by 2,809 to 78,457, according to the Civil Protection Department.
Of those who tested positive for the coronavirus, 893 are being treated in intensive care, a decrease of 59 compared to Tuesday, and 12,172 people are hospitalized with symptoms, a decrease of 693 over the same period.
The remaining 65,392 people — or 83 percent of those who have tested positive — are in isolation at home without or with only mild symptoms.
On May 4, the country partially lifted a nationwide lockdown imposed on March 10, allowing manufacturing, construction, and wholesale sectors to resume, provided companies ensure strict compliance with workplace safety protocols.
Reopening of retail shops, museums, galleries, and libraries should restart on May 18, and that of bars, restaurants, hairdressers and beauty salons, on June 1.
Ahead of this new phase, Italy's National Health Institute on Wednesday issued new recommendations concerning hairstylists and beauty shops.
Face masks will be compulsory for both workers and clients, while additional face visors or shields are recommended for beard and face treatments, the ISS said in a statement.
Clients will be allowed to these shops only on appointment, and beauty centers will have to provide "alternatives to all treatments normally using steam."
Among other rules, these shops will have to ensure a minimum safety distance of at least 2 meters between clients, using alternate workstations and sanitizing each room every day, the ISS also said.
Fitness centers to reopen in late May
Also on Wednesday, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora announced gyms and fitness centers might reopen on May 25, provided safety protocols are agreed in time with the technical-scientific committee advising the government in the coronavirus emergency.
After some movement restrictions were lifted on May 4, practicing sports was allowed again in parks and in the open air (beyond the 200-meter-from-home limit imposed during lockdown) with 2-meter safety distance between people.
"With the technical-scientific committee, we have started to work on a protocol to allow all sporting facilities to reopen," Spadafora told the senate in a hearing.
"Sporting activities are a necessity for Italians, and I will propose (to the cabinet) to reopen all fitness centers — from gyms to swimming pools to dance clubs — by May 25 at the latest."
Some 17 million euros will be allocated to help facilities implement the protocols, according to the minister.