A delivery man rides a bicycle across Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps in central Rome – AFP
Most European countries appear to be past the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, data collected by The Telegraph suggests.
It comes as many countries ease their lockdown measures, allowing people into the Acropolis in Athens, high-fashion boutiques in Italy, museums in Belgium, golf courses in Ireland and beer gardens in Bavaria.
New infections and deaths have slowed considerably in Europe in recent weeks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared the UK was “past the peak” of the coronavirus outbreak on April 30.
Daily infections in Spain, Italy, France and Germany have also decreased, with some recording their lowest daily death tolls since they went into lockdown.
On Sunday, Italy recorded the fewest deaths from coronavirus in one day since its two-month lockdown began, with 145 people dying from the virus, the lowest level since March 9.
The country has one of the highest death tolls in the world, after the United States and Britain, with 31,908 of its citizens succumbing to the virus.
Many European nations are preparing to open their borders next month, trying to sketch out the rules for a highly unusual summer tourist season.
From early June, Italy will reopen for tourists again and scrap its 14-day quarantine period as it eases one of the strictest coronavirus lockdown regimes in the world.
Italians will also be able to move freely between regions, though local authorities can limit travel if infections begin to spike.
Slovakia, which has had far fewer cases of the coronavirus than most European nations, will also make it easier to travel on a short-term basis to eight other states from Thursday without requiring a negative test or two-week quarantine upon return
The countries are neighbours Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Hungary as well as Croatia, Germany, Switzerland and Slovenia.
However, officials have warned that Europe should proceed with caution to mitigate the risk of a second wave of the virus in the coming months.
It is unclear what the impact of a new outbreak could be, with hopes that the first peak could have left a large percentage of the population immune to further infection largely dashed by recent studies.
No more than five per cent of the population of France and Spain, two of the countries hardest hit by coronavirus, have contracted the disease, two new studies recently found. A mere 4.4 per cent of the French population – 2.8 million people – have been infected, according to findings by the Pasteur Institue, published in the journal Science and based on models applied to hospital and death data.
Meanwhile, Russia now has the second highest number of infections worldwide, with a total of more than 280,000.
Moscow health officials said 77 people died of the virus on Monday, the highest daily total so far, and the country still seems to be at its peak of new cases.
International health officials have questioned Russia’s low official death toll, estimated to be around 2,700. New figures released by Moscow authorities suggest that hundreds of coronavirus deaths could have gone unreported.
Russia currently has 15 coronavirus deaths per million compared to the global average of 36.