The Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome reopened its doors to the public on Monday, a symbol of a return to relative normality in Italy where lack of confinement enters “phase 2”, with the reopening of shops, cafes and terraces and the resumption of masses.
Before a group of about 30 faithful, arranged at a safe distance, Francis celebrated a mass in the chapel inside St. Peter’s Basilica, where the mortal remains of Pope John Paul II are preserved, precisely on the centenary of his birth in Poland , May 18, 1920.
“Saint John Paul II embodied the three traits of the good shepherd: prayer, closeness to the people and love of justice,” he said.
Despite the religious climate, a member of the Vatican gendarmerie firmly asked the faithful to comply with the new indications.
“Cover your nose!” He ordered a person trying to lower his mask to breathe easier.
The famous St. Peter’s Basilica, closed since March 10, was completely disinfected this weekend.
In the presence of numerous police officers with masks, the visitors lined up respecting a distance of two meters between each other and entered the temple, after taking their temperature and disinfecting their hands with gel.
First country where confinement was imposed more than two months ago to contain the new coronavirus, the peninsula is still traumatized by the ravages of the pandemic, after registering more than 32,000 deaths and paralyzing its economy.
However, since May 4 the Italians have regained a minimum freedom, with a first relaxation of the restrictions, under the strict vigilance of the “carabinieri”.
– “Italy turns the lights back on” –
On Sunday, the inhabitants of Rome seemed to re-appropriate the center of the eternal city, with no foreign tourists and hardly any cars on the streets, and only athletes, walkers and cyclists were seen.
Almost all with masks, were able to walk near the Colosseum and the Forum of Trajan.
This Monday the majority of small and large shops, hairdressers, bars and restaurants can open. “Italy turns the lights back on, after 69 days closed,” summarized the daily La Repubblica.
“Hygiene, hygiene” is the new paradigm for the famous Roman hairdresser Luca Picchio, who installed separators in plaxiglas and arranged for an employee to monitor compliance with the new rules “to guarantee peace of mind for both their employees and their clients,” he explained. .
The resumption of masses and religious celebrations in churches across the country is also planned, maintaining the measures of social distancing.
Pope Francis congratulated himself on Sunday for “this sign of hope.” “But please, let us move forward with the regulations that have been given to us to ensure the health of each one,” he insisted.
In Milan, a half-day mass in its majestic Gothic cathedral, a symbol in the capital of Lombardy, will remember the dead of one of the regions hardest hit by the pandemic.
“We cannot afford” to wait for a vaccine to be discovered to reopen the country, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday.
“Our principles remain the same: protect life, the health of citizens. But we have to decline them differently,” he insisted.
The spread of the pandemic seems to be under control in the country, where the balance of fatalities fell again this weekend, with 145 deaths, the lowest number since the beginning of the confinement.
– Next phase –
Some 800,000 businesses will be able to reopen this Monday, according to the Confcommercio employers’ confederation. Seven bars out of 10, and 80% of the essential “gelaterie”
(ice cream parlors), they plan to receive customers again.
Italians will be able to meet their family, friends or colleagues again, at home or abroad. However, large congregations are still banned, as are private parties. The use of the mask is compulsory in closed places open to the public and travel between regions requires justification.
The next stage of the lack of confidence will be on May 25, with the reopening of gyms, swimming pools and sports centers. On June 3, the country will open its borders to European tourists, a priority for the authorities to relaunch the key tourism sector.
hba / ob / lch / en / zm-kv / zm
Corresponsal de Argentina, Encargado de seleccionar las noticias más relevantes de su interés a nuestro sitio web NewsPer.com