Record numbers of Italians return to popular nightlife culture after 55 days of a full nationwide lock down.
During the first days of nightlife reopening, bars and cafes experienced large crowds around Italy. While this is a boost in the local economy, the country’s administration emphasized to residents that they observe protocols.
The country’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte warned, “It’s not the time for parties, nightlife or gatherings.”
“Do we want to find ourselves in trouble once again in a month?” Asked Giorgio Gori, the mayor of Bergamo in the Lombardy district on Sunday on his Facebook page. Lombardy was the hardest hit region in the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy.
So far, the response from most Italians is that Conte sounds more like a nagging parent. Clearly, they are not happy with how the healthcare crisis has been handled in the country.
Italy’s night culture centers around outdoor engagement. The country’s towns, cities and villages overflow with mom-and-pop eateries alongside its public piazzas and plaza. Since Italy’s phase two in its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, residents have taken advantage of being able to move outside their homes.
During the daytime, the streets become busy with bike riders, pedestrian traffic and dog walking. At night, the scene changes. Usually, locals hang out on the streets. This week, gatherings saw dozens and in some cases, a hundred or more mostly younger Italians meet up.
Bars, cafes and wineries sell patrons bottles and glasses of wine to customers who meet in groups outside the establishments. Smoking and chatting results in patrons pulling their masks off or wearing them below the chin.
PM Conte said they’ll observe numbers in 10 days, but stressed, ”During this phase [two], more than ever it’s fundamental to respect distances and wear masks, where necessary.”
Night goers were reported to walk through streets until 3 AM and 4 AM.
Italy, like the rest of Europe, hopes to reopen its tourism by the summer. However, Italy is still rolling out an ease of restrictions. By early June, local airports and intra-national travel will be allowed in regions least affected.
Half a million jobs were lost during the Italy quarantine. Much of the country has been hit hard with drastic sinkholes across industries. According to the Conte Administration, a phase three, the final stage, will only occur when a vaccine is administered nationwide.
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