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Italy lockdown eases, paving way for Serie A return

Serie A

TURIN, Jan. 22, 2020 -- FC Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo R vies with Roma’s Chris Smalling during the Italy Cup Quarterfinal football match between FC Juventus and Roma in Turin, Italy, Jan. 22, 2020. (Photo by Alberto Lingria/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/ via Getty Images)

Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Serie A is coming back to the training pitch soon.

Italy is moving into Phase 2 of its return from the coronavirus pandemic on May 4, meaning players can return to individual training on that day.

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Group training would begin May 18, and matches could restart June 2. There were some reports that the Coppa Italia could restart before Serie A in order to give most of the league’s clubs more time to return.

Italy’s death toll Saturday was its smallest in six weeks, but Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte stressed the need to continue social distancing measures to avoid another climb for the curve.

Things will still be very closely legislated, via Football-Italia:

From May 4 and for the next two weeks, until May 18, we will confirm the social distancing guidelines, so travel should still be reduced within a region for unavoidable work or health reasons. However, we will also allow targeted family visits, but only targeted ones with social distancing and use of protective masks. There are to be no large family gatherings from May 4.

Responses to the coronavirus pandemic have been varied across leagues. The Eredivisie is done, with no public events expected in the Netherlands until Sept. 1. The Bundesliga wants to play in May if the government gives the green light.

The goal posts are being moved often, and that’s understandable. Getting it right is the most important thing. Let’s see if Italy and Germany set the table for England and the United States.