May 11, 2020 / 3:06 PM / a month ago

Normalization of travel in Italy could start in first part of June - minister

MILAN, May 11 (Reuters) - Normalization of travel across Italy may start in the first part of June, providing the coronavirus contagion is under control, Transport Minister Paola De Micheli said on Monday.

After a lockdown of eight weeks, Italy started to ease movement restrictions on May 4 but travel across the country’s regions is still only allowed if strictly necessary.

The travel curbs have cut motorway traffic to a trickle, impacting the business of motorway operators including Autostrade per l’Italia, the tollroad unit of infrastructure group Atlantia.

Asked about Atlantia, which is locked in a months-long dispute with the government over the potential revocation of its motorway concession, De Micheli said she was waiting to discuss how to end the stalemate with the rest of the government.

“I wrapped up my assessment of the Autostrade issue a few weeks ago and now I am waiting for an occasion to discuss it all with the rest of the government,” she said in a conference call organised by Italy’s Foreign Press association.

She also said the government could consider easing social distancing rule inside aircraft depending on a positive assessment by the scientific committee advising the government. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Francesca Landini)

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