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Bookstores reopen in Italy, providing a glimpse of the new normal

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By Giorgia Orlandi  & Luke Hurst
Book stores have reopened in Italy under strict conditions
Book stores have reopened in Italy under strict conditions   -   Copyright  AP

Some book stores opened again in Rome on Monday following two months of coronavirus lockdown. However, those wishing to sell books face-to-face with the public again in the Italian capital have to ensure they maintain the same social distancing and sanitary measures required in supermarkets.

With six shoppers allowed in at one time, Feltrinelli bookshop in the city centre had to reorganise its shelves, limiting entry to six people at one time, and ensuring gloves were available at the entrance. Shoppers were also required to wear face masks.

It is just a small step to reopening the economy of Europe’s hardest hit country, which currently counts 24,114 deaths, and a total of 181,228 cases.

On the same day, Italy counted fewer current COVID-19 cases for the first time.

The nationwide lockdown has been extended through to the end of May - and authorities will take lessons from the opening of bookshops, applying what they learn to the reopening of other parts of the economy in the coming weeks.

Governments are keenly aware that opening up their societies again too soon could lead to a new peak in cases, and health systems once again becoming overwhelmed.

The reopening of book stores provides a glimpse into the new normal Europeans can expect for the next few months.

Watch Giorgia's report in the player above