Italy moves to ease Europe’s longest lockdown

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Italy has outlined plans to ease the restrictions it imposed seven weeks ago to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the measures would be relaxed from 4 May, with people being allowed to visit their relatives in small numbers.

Parks, factories and building sites will reopen, but schools will not restart classes until September.

Roman Catholic bishops have written to Mr Conte to protest against the continued ban on church services.

It comes as the country recorded its lowest number of new confirmed cases since the outbreak began.

There were 333 new virus-related deaths on Monday, a slight rise on the 260 recorded on Sunday, to a total of 26,977 – still the highest recorded toll in Europe.

But the number of new cases was at its lowest since 10 March, and the number of people in intensive care also dropped.