• Video report by ITV News Europe Editor James Mates

More than four million Italians were allowed back to work on Monday, while cafes also reopened in Europe's coronavirus epicentre.

It marked the end of the the continent's first and longest, keeping people from their jobs and loved ones.

Fabrizia Maselli was allowed to make the short 15-minute walk from home to visit her mother for the first time since the start of March, for an emotional reunion.

She is just one of many families kept separated, even those who live close by due to the severity of the lockdown imposed on the country.

Protective masks are the new norm and were required on public transport and inside cafes, restaurants and gelato shops that opened for take-out service, while one metre social distancing is still a necessity.

The restrictions are similar to those experienced in the UK since the beginning of lockdown in the country.

Italy is getting used to the first stage of its new normal, as they can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Italians have been under lockdown since March 11. Credit: AP

Italians were allowed to go back to work at construction sites, factories and manufacturing jobs deemed to be at lowest risk for contagion.

Traffic ticked up in city centers, commuter and long-distance trains sold out and more people ventured out after restrictions on movement eased for the first time since Italy locked down March 11.

“We are being careful, trying not to do too many things, but at least we are finally outside and breathing some fresh air,” said Daniele Bianchi as he strolled through Rome’s Villa Borghese park.

Across the Tiber in Villa Sciarra, Valerio Pileri stood by the stroller as his 2 1/2 year-old grandson scampered in the grass.

“He was going around and around again on the terrace with his bike, but it’s not the same as the villa,” Pileri said.

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