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Italians flock to seaside beach after lockdown restrictions ease

Italians flocked to the beach today for the first weekend of seaside fun since the national coronavirus lockdown was significantly eased at the start of the week.

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The national coronavirus lockdown was significantly eased at the start of the week. Source: Associated Press

The country's regions have been opening at their own pace.

Emilia Romagna was the first to open beach establishments, but locals hoping for a day out on sun beds with an ice-cream were disappointed as the concessions were still in preparation mode and diggers could be seen flattening the sand.

"It's really nice, it just that I'm from Rimini and I'm used to seeing all the umbrellas and deck chairs, so it's strange. I was expecting to find something organised, but there's nothing yet," a local resident said.

That did not stop people enjoying the sunshine, frolicking in the waves or lazing on the sand to work on their first tan of the season.

Italy today registered 669 new cases of Covid-19, two-thirds of them in the northern region of Lombardy, which has been the hardest-hit since the outbreak began.

Figures from the most recent 24-hour period yesterday saw 119 deaths registered.

Officially, Italy has 32,735 deaths from Covid-19.