The daily coronavirus death toll in Italy dropped to 99 on Monday for the first time since early March, the civil protection agency said, as the country largely lifted a lockdown.
It was the lowest toll since March 9 -- the day Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced he was shutting down the country.
Italy and the Vatican allowed the first public Masses to be celebrated since March on Monday as coronavirus restrictions eased further, following a sharp confrontation between church and state over limits on worshipping in the era of COVID-19.
It was all part of Italy’s next step in emerging from the West’s first coronavirus lockdown, with commercial shops and restaurants reopening and barbers giving long-overdue trims for the first time since March 10.
But with several hundred new infections still being recorded every day, the reopening is hardly a free-for-all, with strict virus-containing measures regulating everything from how you get your coffee to the way you pray.
The government has published 120 pages of detailed norms for the resumption of work, play, worship and commerce, with some of the most intricate protocols reserved for the resumption of public religious observance.