On another subject for just a moment: Would you like to attend a May Crowning this Sunday? Virtual, of course! Here’s the site: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/cph0us9zq50i/?&th=171c16812fe652b8&v=c
AND THE AWARD GOES TO…..? ITALY’S PHASE 2 PLAN TO RE-OPEN THE COUNTRY
As you will read below in a report from Wanted in Rome online magazine, Phase Two of the Italian government’s coronavirus plan is about to start on Monday May 4. As I wrote yesterday, there was a ton of pushback after the Prime Minister spoke Sunday night about this phase as it does not resemble what people had been hearing would happen and what they had been planning for, whether it was for the re-opening of restaurants, hair salons, updating of transportation systems, etc.
Several large unions linked, for example, to the hospitality industry and to restaurants and bars, have complained that these businesses have been planning for weeks to reopen, re-arranging table positions and numbers of tables, to sanitizing locales to having plastic menus printed that could be sanitized, etc. Now their opening dates has been pushed back by several weeks – a huge loss in income and yet expenses that continue – rent, the cost of business licenses, etc. If staff has to be reduced that means employees will have to apply for unemployment compensation and that could cost the government more than it would to help businesses financially or to let them finally open and operate.
For hairdressers and barbers, it seems only one client can be allowed in the salon at a time. That might be OK for a 30-minute hair trim and blow dry but not for a lengthy procedure that might require two hours. And gloves and masks for everyone! Can’t wait to have a shampoo and hair trim and see how that works with a mask!
Those issues are just the tip of the iceberg.
One of the biggest problems was that churches were not included in Sunday’s Phase 2 list of openings except for wording such as “a date to be determined.” That did not go well with the Italian Episcopal conference and other religious leaders in Italy, and it seems the government has backtracked and we are now looking at a possible date of May 10 for Masses open to the public – with a thousand restrictions, of course. In fact, the government indicated it favored Masses outdoors! Like where outdoors? Most churches have only the sidewalk leading to the church steps as an “outdoor” area.
There is Article 2 of the 1984 Church State Concordat: “The Italian Republic recognizes the Catholic Church’s full freedom to carry out its pastoral, educational and charitable th. The Church is guaranteed freedom of organization, public exercise of worship, exercise of the magisterium and spiritual ministry as well as jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters.”
Relative to that, we have this comment: https://www.breitbart.com/health/2020/04/28/law-professor-italys-ban-on-public-worship-unacceptable-illegitimate-unconstitutional/
And relative to Phase 2 of Italy’s coronavirus plan, there is this:
CONTE UNVEILS PHASE TWO PLAN AS ITALY PREPARES TO EXIT LOCKDOWN
(Wanted in Rome) Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has unveiled details of Italy’s Phase Two plan in the coronavirus emergency, outlining the gradual loosening of the restrictions in place since the country went into lockdown on 10 March.
The current period of quarantine and restrictive measures expires on 3 May, with Phase Two – “co-existing with the virus” – beginning cautiously on 4 May, with social distancing to remain in place.
Conte thanked Italians for their sacrifice, strength, courage and sense of responsibility in a live address broadcast on the evening of 26 April. However he warned of the risk that the coronavirus curve could rise again, stating that it was fundamental for the public to maintain social distancing measures.
“If you love Italy keep your distance,” said Conte who added that the price of protective face masks would be reduced and fixed at 50 cent.
From 4 May people will be allowed to move around within the region in which they live, with greater freedom for outdoor excerise and the chance to visit family members, all while maintaining social distancing.
However the ban on travel between different regions of Italy remains in place, except for proven reasons of work, health or emergencies.
Gatherings of any kind, private or public, will remain strictly banned. Public parks, gardens and villas can reopen from 4 May but mayors will have the power to close them if necessary.
People can go walking and jogging away from their home so long as they practice social distancing: two metres apart for joggers, one metre for walkers.
Factories and building sites can reopen from 4 May however public construction projects can get back to work from 27 April, as can manufacturing and wholesale trade related to exports.
The commercial sector including clothes shops will reopen on 18 May, with strict rules on social distancing.
Museums, galleries, libraries and places of culture are to reopen on 18 May.
From 4 May restaurants and bars will be allowed to operate a take-away service – in addition to home delivery which is already permitted. However Conte warned that this didn’t mean people could gather or eat outside the premises.
The government has identified 1 June as the date when bars and restaurants can reopen.
Barbers, hairdressers and beauty salons can reopen on 1 June.
Protective face masks will be mandatory for commuters on public transport, with restricted numbers on buses and trains especially during rush hour.
Professional athletes including Serie A footballers can resume individual training on 4 May, with group training to begin again on 18 May.
From 4 May funerals can be attended by a maximum of 15 mourners, while respecting social distancing measures and wearing protective masks.
Conte confirmed that Italy’s schools will reopen in September, as he outlined in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica earlier the same day.
The news comes the same day as Italy registered its fewest coronavirus-related deaths since the early days of the lockdown, reporting 260 fatalities over the last 24 hours – compared to 415 the day before. (https://www.wantedinrome.com/news/coronavirus-italy-to-ease-lockdown-from-4-may.html)