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Monday, June 21, 2021

Italy opens bars, restaurants for indoor service

Until Tuesday, businesses had to either offer outdoor seating, or serve coffee in takeaway cups, admonishing customers to step away from the bar before sipping or run afoul of virus restrictions

By: AP | Rome |
Updated: June 1, 2021 10:13:09 pm
ItalyPeople gather inside a restaurant in downtown Rome, Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Starting Tuesday, customers were again allowed to access bars and restaurants, that were previously only permitted to serve outside or prepare for takeaway because of Covid restrictions. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Italians may eat and drink indoors at bars and restaurants for the first time in months, and that includes the morning ritual of having an espresso or cappuccino at a local cafe.

Until Tuesday, businesses had to either offer outdoor seating, or serve coffee in takeaway cups, admonishing customers to step away from the bar before sipping or run afoul of virus restrictions.

Rome resident Paolo Leoni enjoyed an espresso at the Toraldo Cafe in the center of Rome.

He said that “one coffee gives us the feeling of living serenely again.”

Cafe owner Alessandro Rappini says that seeing the place fill up again after four months “gives me a huge sense of satisfaction.”

Italy began rolling back pandemic restrictions in April as the number of new cases showed signs of steady decline. To date, nearly 35 million people in the country of 60 million residents have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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