After five weeks of lockdown, more than 22,000 deaths and some 170,000 positive cases of coronavirus it seems Italy is preparing for phase two. However, what that will look like is anyone's guess.
There can be no cause for celebration or even to breathe a sigh of relief as the situation remains serious and the threat of an even worse outbreak remains very real.
The danger is still a spread of the disease to the south on the same scale the north has experienced.
Alessandro Vespignani, an expert on epidemiology and the spread of disease, said that this year Italians would be facing a summer "without travel". Cancellation of the usual seaside holiday in August is unthinkable for most Italians and may well prove problematic for the government to enforce.
What we do know is that the lockdown restrictions remain in place at least until May 3, after which we are expected to move fully to phase two. This week some shops were allowed to reopen, bookshops, stationary shops and children's clothing shops, which posed a low risk of attracting crowds. A plan to open businesses and factories where social distancing can be implemented is currently under consideration by the Ministry of Economic Development. The plan proposes a reopening of industry as early as April 22. The regions, particularly Lombardy, where 50pc of the deaths have occurred, are agitating for a return to work and to set the wheels of commerce going again.
The lockdown has been mostly well observed by Italians, however, away from the eerily quiet streets, many businesses have tried to find any loophole in the restrictions to continue working. Any business connected to the food industry or deemed to provide 'essential services' has been allowed to remain operating and the vagueness of the decree has allowed them to exploit it. There have been no food shortages.
The economic effects of this pandemic are, and will continue to be, dire. Italy needs to get back to work. Goldman Sachs has predicted that Italy's GDP will fall by 11.6pc in 2020.
Italy is traumatised. With the death toll in the city of Wuhan having been officially revised upwards 50pc it is expected that once the dust settles in Italy, a jump in figures is expected. Almost everyone has been touched by the virus in some way and in a country where the elderly are so cherished and family's intergenerational relationships are integral to the way of life, the losses are devastating. The very fabric of Italian society, the weave of close-knit families has been loosened and will not recover quickly. That said, Italians are resilient and remain committed to whatever restrictive measures that will come. Testing and tracking will be more important than ever.
"In phase two, we would like to extend the testing across the country to find those who are infected as early as possible - including those without symptoms," said ISS public health institute director Silvio Brusaferro.
The government is in the process of rolling out an app called Immuni, which people can download voluntarily.
While the initial outbreak was characterised by a tsunami of Covid-19 cases, the second phase will, hopefully, be a steadier stream of cases that minimises the death toll. There will be no respite for Italy's heroic frontline medical staff, only an upswing in resources. To date 127 doctors have died due to the disease.
The political fallout has already begun. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who won the admiration of Italians for the way he handled the emergency, is feeling the heat from all sides with regard to the EU's offer of help through the European Stability Mechanism. The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday apologised to Italy for the EU's failure to support the country during the early stages of the crisis.
The Democratic Party (PD) is seeing a rise in its popularity, partly because the opposition, the League's (Lega) Matteo Salvini, has been so inconsistent in his messaging throughout the crisis. But Italy does not need a general election any time soon. As Italians begin to venture into the outside world over the course of the next month, they'll begin to pick up the pieces of their broken country.
There will be time for pointing fingers and recriminations later.