Italian design brands including B&B Italia, Moroso and Minotti have reopened their factories today as coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the country are finally eased.
Workers equipped with temperature scanners and personal protective equipment returned to work after the government allowed factories that produce goods for export to reopen.
"Finally, the situation in Italy is improving and we are ready to start again with more enthusiasm and determination than ever," said furniture makers Moroso.
The company, which makes all its pieces at the Moroso factory in Udine, said it would open its production facilities today, 28 April. It added that by next Monday its warehouses and logistics department will also be fully operational.
The news comes nearly two months after Italy went into lockdown in early March when the country became the epicentre of the pandemic.
Workers will be given gloves and masks
B&B Italia announced it would also be re-opening its factories making designer furniture and high-end kitchens in Novedrate and Caldogno.
"The companies have implemented all the safety and health protocols," said B&B Italia. "Sanitising procedures for the rooms, supply of disinfectants at each location and distancing will ensure employees a safe return."
Workers arriving at the reopened plants will have their temperature taken with a thermo-scanner before entry, and will be provided with a fresh set of gloves and a mask each day.
The company paid tribute to the "extraordinary commitment of men and women" who work for them and other design firms, crediting them as the "true strength" of the Made in Italy brand.
"We are ready to get back to work"
Minotti, which makes upholstered furniture, are reopening too. "A great challenge awaits us in order to build a new future together, with the same passion, courage and creativity as ever," it said.
Axo Light said it was opening up its factory in Venice, and Flexform, furniture makers based in Meda, are also reopening factory doors.
"We are ready to get back to work, as passionately as ever," said a Flexform spokesperson.
"Of course, taking all the necessary precautions – maintaining social distancing and wearing protective devices – but also with rekindled determination, ready to give it our all."
When the date of the lockdown was pushed back, at the start of April, nine of the biggest Italian brands signed an open letter to their government warning of an "economic catastrophe" if they could not resume business soon.
Nearly 27,000 Italians have died with almost 200,000 reported cases of coronavirus.
Main image courtesy of Moroso.