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Al fresco dining returns to Italy as COVID-19 restrictions ease

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By Giorgia Orlandi
People sit at a cafe restaurant in Rome, Monday, April 26, 2021.
People sit at a cafe restaurant in Rome, Monday, April 26, 2021.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

In most Italian regions, restaurants and cafes have reopened for outdoor dining, to the relief of businesses that were forced to shut down for months.

But while many Italians are glad to see al fresco dining make a comeback, some fear that new restrictions and closures may yet again lurk around the corner.

Italy began easing lockdown measures on Monday (April 26). Across regions now classified as lower-risk "yellow zones", restaurants and bars are now allowed to serve customers at both lunch and dinner, but only at outdoor tables, and businesses must close in time for the 10 pm curfew.

Restrictions on non-essential travel between regions in yellow zones have also been lifted, while cinemas and theatres can resume indoor showings with limited capacity.

After six months of ever-changing lockdown restrictions, the nation's gradual reopening is seen as too cautious for some, too hasty for others.

Watch Giorgia's report in the video player above.