Pope Francis offers first public mass as Italy eases coronavirus restrictions

Vatican City [Vatican], May 18 (ANI): Pope Francis on Monday offered public mass at St Peter's Basilica here, the first in two months, as restrictions imposed due to coronavirus pandemic were eased.

The Pope was joined by the limited number of worshipers during the mass to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of St John Paul II, CNN reported.

Masses and religious ceremonies resumed in Italy on Monday under strict safety measures after being banned for almost two months due to coronavirus.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza on Sunday called on citizens to "remain prudent," as the country prepared to relax its coronavirus lockdown from Monday.

"Tomorrow there will be many more people out and so there will be a higher possibility of crossing paths with someone ... tomorrow, the behaviors we have learned will be more necessary than before because there will be a greater occasion for contagion," Speranza said.

"The virus is still not defeated. It's not present like it was weeks ago, but it's still here, so we must remain prudent."

The coronavirus cases in the European country have continued to decline.

On Sunday, Italy's Civil Protection Department reported 145 coronavirus-related deaths, the lowest daily death toll in over two months.

The total infected cases are 225,435 while the death toll has reached a staggering 31,908. (ANI)