Italy death toll tops 30,000, highest in EU

Italy has become the first country in the European Union to register more than 30,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

It reported 243 new fatalities on Friday - down from 274 the day before - taking the total to 30,201.

The daily number of confirmed new cases fell slightly to 1,327, bringing the total number of infections to 217,185.

Restrictions have begun to ease around the county, but one doctor described the city of Milan as a time "bomb," according to local media.

Italy has the third highest number of officially recorded coronavirus deaths in the world, after the United States and the UK - which is no longer a member of the EU.

Britain passed the 30,000 mark on Wednesday. Spain is Europe's third worst-affected country with more than 26,000 deaths.

Italy was the first country in Europe to impose a lockdown when coronavirus cases first started to surface in northern regions in February.

Some lockdown measures have been rolled back. This week, Italians have been able to exercise for the first time in weeks, as long as they respect rules on physical distance and wear masks where distancing is difficult. They are able to visit relatives - but not friends - within their region.

Catholic churches are also preparing for the resumption of Mass on 18 May, but there will be strict social distancing and worshippers must wear face masks. Other faiths will also be allowed to hold religious services.