Italy's message to UK: 'Don't consider easing social distancing until masks become norm'

On the steps above Piazza Popolo a couple teenagers were making the most of post lockdown time with some non-social distance kissing.

Beside them a rather bored friend waited for them to get back to chatting.

Covid-19 hasn’t changed everything.

But enthusiastic teenagers aside, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the Italian way of life.

No more the double kiss greeting or the warm embrace. It looks and feels so alien.

A bar sets up its outdoor seating ensuring that they are kept one metre apart. Credit: ITV News

Yet this is the new way of life here and it is evident everywhere.

The social distancing rules mean there should be a one metre gap between non family groups.

Not everyone abides by it but most do.

And it’s not just distancing.

There are now very strict rules on mask wearing - inside public places they are a must and outside they are advised in confined areas.

For months now we have heard the UK is following in Italy’s wake as far as Covid-19 is concerned.

As a result there is a very clear message from Italy to those deciding on reducing social distancing - if you are going to reduce from 2m to 1m, don’t even consider it until masks become the norm.