Italy and Spain take first steps towards lifting lockdown restrictions as millions return to their jobs
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Italy and Spain take first steps towards lifting lockdown restrictions as millions return to their jobs

EUROPE took its first tentative steps towards a return to normality after several countries eased lockdown restrictions on Monday.

Both Italy and Spain, two of the worst-hit countries during the coronavirus pandemic, have re-opened thousands of businesses this week, with millions of workers heading back to their jobs.

Meanwhile, Germany is considering opening schools back up next week, as Europe begins to flirt with the idea that, despite Covid-19 cases and death rates still being high, a corner may have finally been turned, to some degree.

This week, Spain lifted restrictions on non-essential industries, so the likes of builders, cleaners, factory-workers and construction-workers were allowed to go back into work.

Police in Madrid have been handed out millions of masks on the country's metro system and bus networks to aid in the prevention of a second wave of infection.

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The relaxation of restrictions follows on from Spain's lowest recorded number of new infections - 3,477 - for more than three weeks.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez said that social distancing measures and a ban on non-essential travel will still be in place, but that there could be a "progressive and very cautious" relaxation of measures" in the next fortnight.

Similarly, Italy re-opened non-essential shops today, like book stores and clothes shops, though social distancing and travel bans remain in place.

Despite this, both French and British governments have said that lockdown measures will continue as they are for at least another three weeks, setting deadlines of May 11 and May 7 respectively.