The Italian government allowed some locking steps to be lifted on Tuesday, but many Italians are worried that easing the rules will produce a second wave of corona virus cases.
In response to the decline in the number of deaths and positive cases of COVID-19 in the country, the prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Tuesday that some businesses would be allowed to reopen. This includes bookstores, children’s clothing stores, and stationery stores. Computer manufacturing and forestry activities are also permitted to continue.
Although this means a return of income for some people, there is a marked reluctance by shop owners to open and close windows, especially booksellers who come together to express their concerns about reopening.
The Italian Minister of Culture said that the government had chosen to allow the reopening of bookstores because books were “important items” for citizens who had to stay at home.
In a Open letter To the prime minister, booksellers responded to the text, “We are pleased with this new attention on our work, but we will also like it before government steps to deal with the pandemic come into force, and especially after that.”
Stores can only be reopened if they follow security measures such as cleaning the store twice a day and ensuring the customer’s social distance. But bookstore owners worry this won’t be enough to prevent a possible spread of the virus.
“The work of booksellers includes communicating for a long time,” they wrote in the letter, “practices which, if not properly regulated, pose a clear sanitation risk.”
They added, “It is the custom of anyone who enters a bookstore to pick up, touch and handle a large number of books. Have procedures for sanitation of books and the environment been considered?
The concerns of book sellers were also echoed in the decisions of several local governments. Regional authorities are permitted to modify locking measures in their territories, and many have decided to be careful in reducing lockdown rules.
Piedmont, Lombardy and Trentino Alto-Adige in Northern Italy, and Campania in the South, have chosen to close stores until May 3. The central Lazio region will only allow bookstores and stationery stores to reopen on April 20.
All non-essential businesses were forced to close on March 21 after a government decision, and the loss of revenue threatened many businesses with bankruptcy.
Despite economic difficulties, many health risks still come first. “We do not intend to expose ourselves only with the aim of faking ‘recovery of the culture of the soul,'” book sellers concluded in their letter, “which can only really happen when everyone’s safety is guaranteed.”
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