As many European countries begin toughening up COVID-19 restrictions, Italy has started relaxing them.
Some regions – including Rome and Venice – have been downgraded from orange to “lower risk” yellow zones.
However, the easing of restrictions hasn’t pleased many business owners.
Vion Kerri is the manager of Giordi restaurant in Rome – and is only running one out of his two restaurants because he’s accumulated debts after struggling to pay both rents each month, with tourism badly affected.
“For all of us on the square, it feels like a fake reopening. People are not back in the office and for us it is like being closed – only open on the surface. It’s just the state that benefits from this, not us,” he told Euronews.
“We decided to open to send out a message to say that we are alive but we have lost our hope, there are no people and there’s no income. We are actually losing money,” he added.
The relaxation of the rules on Monday followed a warning from the World Health Organisation and other experts that it may be too soon.
Italy has recorded more than two million infections and around 88,500 deaths from COVID-19 – with 11,252 new cases recorded on Sunday. The country has been one of the worst hit by the pandemic.
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