Italy culture minister Dario Franceschini has welcomed the move also, saying it recognizes the “essential” nature of books. He likewise has responded to concerns for the health of booksellers emphasizing bookshops now have the possibility of reopening: they are not obliged to do so.
However, booksellers have not been in a rush to reopen. The Guardian reports that their “hesitancy to emerge from the lockdown could reverberate in other countries badly hit by coronavirus as governments edge towards easing restrictions. The death toll in Italy reached 21,067 on Tuesday and the infection rate, though growing by less and less each day, is yet to show a definitive sign that the contagion is overcome.”
“I will be very happy to reopen as soon as we can do so safely,” said Nicoletta Maldini, a partner in Libreria Trame, a bookshop in the heart of Bologna. “At some point we will need to restart, but until then we need to move with caution and respect.”