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Coronavirus: Italy to lift travel restrictions June 3

Coronavirus: Italy to lift travel restrictions June 3
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcades shopping center stands empty in the Lombardian capital of Milan, northern Italy, back in March. Italy will begin to reopen shops in the region Monday. File Photo by Matteo Corner/ EPA-EFE

May 16 (UPI) -- Italy published a decree Saturday to lift travel restrictions June 3, three months after they were put in place in response to the coronavirus.

It's the next step in the country's plans to reopen its economy after months of lockdown measures to control the spread of the virus.

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Stores, restaurants and hair salons will begin to reopen Monday in the hard-hit Lombardy region, the area's governor said. Limitations on travel within the region will also be lifted.

Travel restrictions from one region to another and to and from the country will not be lifted until June 3.

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Annually, the local economy gets a $2.5 billion boost from up to 30 million tourists who descend on Venice, according to the Italian tourism industry.

The government can still limit travel to and from areas with a disproportionately high rate of epidemiological risk, according to the decree.

A mandatory quarantine will remain in effect for anyone who has been found positive for the virus or has been in close contact with anyone who has the virus.

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Local gatherings in public spaces also remain banned.

The country has started to ease restrictions as the rate of COVID-19 deaths drop in the country.

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Italy reported 242 new daily deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, down from a high of 919 new daily deaths from the virus on March 27, according to Worldometers.info.

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Italy has 223,885 cases of COVID-19 and 36,610 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University global tracker of cases.

At one point, Italy had the second highest number of deaths across the world behind the United States, but Britain recently surpassed Italy in having the second-highest number of deaths.

The United States has more than 1.4 million cases and 87,595 deaths from the virus, according to the global tracker.

Globally, the world has more than 4.5 million cases and more than 308,000 deaths from COVID-19.

South Korea has received international praise for largely bringing the coronavirus under control after continuing a monthlong streak of new daily cases below 100. But after beginning to loosen its social distancing guidelines, the country has temporarily closed nightclubs amid a spike in cases tied to nightlife.

The cluster of COVID-19 cases tied to multiple Seoul nightclubs has risen to 162 cases, South Korean authorities said.

The country reported one new death from the virus Thursday, down from a high of nine new daily deaths on March 24. South Korea also had 27 new daily cases Friday, down from a high of 851 new daily cases on March 3, according to Worldometers.info.

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According to the global tracker, South Korea has reported 11,037 COVID-19 cases and 262 deaths from the virus since the outbreak began.

Mexico, meanwhile, reported 2,437 new daily cases Friday, its highest daily increase of cases, Mexico's General Director of Epidemiology Jose Luis Alomia said in a news conference.

Despite the increase, authorities announced this week a three-phase plan to reopen the country's economy starting on June 1.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, the country has reported 45,032 cases and 4,767 deaths, according to the global tracker.

The country has one of the lowest testing rates in the world with 89 tests per 100,000 people as of May 11, according to health ministry data.

The United States has tested at a rate nearly 32 times higher than that, according to the COVID Tracking Project, but the United States still lags behind several other countries in its testing rate.

India has now recorded more cases than mainland China, where the first cluster of cases was diagnosed as COVID-19 after initially being identified as pneumonia.

According to the global tracker, India has reported 86,508 cases and 2,760 deaths. China has reported 84,038 cases and 4,637 deaths.

In Bangladesh, two Rohingya refugees recently tested positive for COVID-19 at the world's biggest refugee camp, Cox's Bazar, officials said. UNICEF will build a treatment center there in response.

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Bangladesh has reported 20,995 COVID-19 cases and 314 deaths, according to the global tracker.

World moves to reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic

Visitors wear face masks as they tour the Whitney Museum of American Art as it reopens on September 3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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