Several countries in Europe hit hard by theare letting stores reopen and giving people more freedom to go out. Italy reported its lowest daily death toll Sunday since COVID-19 really hit the country, and some familiar signs of life are returning.
For two months virtually all Italians had been under orders to stay home. On Monday, joggers reappeared in Venice’s parks, allowed back into the green spaces as life slowly began returning to something nearing normal.
Florists have returned to Rome’s iconic Campo de’ Fiori flower market — and not a moment too soon, according to one vendor who told CBS News correspondent Chris Livesay, “It’s been hard economically and personally. I’m part of this piazza, and it’s part of me.”
Cafes, including the Antico Caffè Greco, the oldest in Rome, can once again serve coffee.
Asked by Livesay whether it was the first time in the business’ 260 years that it had been forced to close its doors for two months, one of the staff said it had happened only once before, during World War II, and he was “so happy to be re-opened now.”
For now it’s only coffees to go, and only in cardboard cups — not exactly an Italian tradition, but a welcome step back toward one.
Italy is “still in the full throes of the pandemic,” President Giuseppe Conte has warned, stressing that “the loosening of restrictions must not be seen as a signal that we’re all free.”
Schools, churches and museums remain shut. Most shops will also stay shuttered for at least anther two weeks. Hair salons, which have been closed this whole time, aren’t scheduled to re-open until next month.
Elsewhere in Europe: Masks are mandatory in Spain, where rules against outdoor exercise were also lifted.
In Germany, widely praised for containing the outbreak, churches have resumed services, and on Monday morning workers returned to automaker Ford’s European headquarters.
Things aren’t getting better everywhere, however. The outbreak is getting worse in Russia, which recorded its worst day in new cases Sunday, with more than 10,000 added to the tally.