ROME, May 18 (Reuters) - Italians will be able to grab a cup of their favourite Starbucks coffee again after the group said on Monday it would reopen its Italian cafes, with the exception of its flagship location in central Milan.
On Monday shops, restaurants, coffee shops and hair salons reopened in Italy as the government further softened its coronavirus lockdown rules, one of the world's strictest, which lasted 10 weeks.
Starbucks said it would open its cafes in Milan and the one in the northern city of Turin but would still keep shut the Roastery in the finance capital's city centre, opened in September 2018, and the location at the city's Malpensa airport.
"How we operate these stores will look and feel different," the company added, explaining that operations would follow the government's rules for the sector as well as social distancing.
All coffees will be served in takeaway paper cups, although people will be able to drink their beverages at tables in Milan as long as they respect social distancing measures, and contactless payments will be preferred.
Staff will serve coffee wearing face masks and gloves.
In the Turin cafe, only takeaway drinks will be available.
Starbucks' Milan flagship store - Starbucks' first roastery in Europe - will stay shut as "now is not the time to reopen it", the group said in a statement. "(It) is designed as an immersive experience and encourages customers to linger and enjoy the expansive space," it added.
Opening dates for the Roastery and the Malpensa locations have not been decided yet.
Last week Starbucks said it would begin a phased reopening of 150 of its drive-thru locations and some takeaway-only stores in the United Kingdom.
In China 90% of Starbucks stores were now open and about 85% of its stores in the United States were open for delivery. (Reporting by Giulia Segreti; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)