London, UK - 10 February, 2020 People wear mask for protection. Street style. Stylish woman in black dress, coat and a cap wears a beige mask. London fashion week; Shutterstock ID 1646151625; Usage (Print, Web, Both): Web; Issue Date: April 7; Comments: WWD

FIRST STEP: Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Sunday evening confirmed the lockdown in the country, first enforced on March 9, will be gradually lifted beginning May 4, when production and construction will be allowed to restart, as well as B2B operations, in compliance with safety protocols.

Another phase will kick off on May 18 when retail businesses will be allowed to reopen, as well as museums, exhibitions and libraries. Bars, restaurants, hair salons and beauty centers will reopen on June 1.

Masks will be mandatory in public places, large crowd gatherings will be forbidden and a social distancing of at least three feet will continue to be required. Conte was cautious, saying that citizens will have to learn to live with the coronavirus and that another lockdown could be necessary if signs pointed to a fresh outbreak.

As of April 26, at least 197,675 citizens in Italy have been infected, 26,644 have died, according to the Civil Protection.

A number of luxury brands have resumed activities ahead of the end of the lockdown, as reported, also for the production of protective masks and overalls. Valentino, for example, will resume activities on April 27 at its artisan laboratories and at a number of its production plants dedicated to apparel, leather goods and footwear prototypes in Piedmont, Tuscany and Veneto, while “guaranteeing the implementation of an extensive protocol of maximum security for its employees.”

Valentino’s agreement with trade unions follows that of Gucci, which on April 20 reopened its leather goods and shoes prototype industrial complex called ArtLab based in Scandicci, outside Florence.

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