Italy plans to look at a second-phase plan to combat the crisis, attempting to restart the economy without triggering a new wave of infections.

"We expect a very complex challenge," Mr Conte said as he outlined the roadmap to restarting activities put into hibernation since early March.

People’s movements will still very much be restricted under the plan, which envisages schools remaining closed until September.

Factories geared towards exports and public construction projects can resume activity from Monday, while the majority of Italy’s industry will restart from 4 May – a day after the lockdown expires.

Although he thanked citizens for the sacrifices they had already made after almost seven weeks in quarantine, Conte said “phase two” would be about “co-existing with the virus”.