Despite being one of the hardest-hit European countries during the coronavirus pandemic, Italy announced last week that it will begin easing lockdown restrictions, according to CNBC.

The government allowed a small number of businesses to reopen on April 14 — including bookshops, stationers, and shops selling children’s clothes — after observing that the number of coronavirus cases continued to decline.

However, lockdown restrictions are expected to remain in place for the rest of the country until at least May 3, according to the outlet.

While Italy overtook China in the number of deaths related to the virus on March 19, the European country has since been surpassed by the United States, which currently has the most coronavirus cases in the world.

As of Thursday, there have been at least 187,327 confirmed cases in Italy, the third-most worldwide behind the U.S. and Spain, and 25,085 people have died, according to the New York Times. In Venice, at least 2,279 cases have been reported, according to the Times.

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