Countries begin to ease lockdown measures as rate of confirmed cases decrease

Countries are easing lockdown measures as they detect a lower rate of confirmed coronavirus cases.

Germany

Germany will allow the 16 federal states to be in charge as part of its easing of lockdown measures, according to the BBC. There is an “emergency break” in place, however, if there is a resurgence of cases.  

Shops of all sizes will reopen, schools will only partially reopen and people from different households will be able to meet one another. 

Italy

As one of the countries that was hardest hit by Covid-19, Italy started to ease its lockdown measures in May.

People can now travel long distances or visit relatives in small numbers. However, they are still prohibited from visiting other regions, according to the BBC

Funerals are now allowed with a maximum of 15 people.

Restaurants currently only provide takeaway services but they will allow dine-in’s starting June 1. Hair salons are also scheduled to be open on the same day. 

Shops, museums, libraries, sports training, and public gatherings are scheduled to resume on May 18. 

Spain

According to Euronews, Spain has revealed a four-phase plan as its gradual exit strategy from the lockdown. Each phase will last for two weeks. 

According to Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the country is currently in “phase zero” which is the preparations stage. 

  • Phase 1: Small business to reopen. There will be specific shopping hours for those 65 years and older. Hotels are allowed to be open but common areas must still be inaccessible. 
  • Phase 2: Restaurants and education centers will open with exceptions.
  • Phase 3: Restrictions will be “limited.” 

Sweden

Sweden never imposed any lockdown measures. It relied on the population taking voluntary social distancing measures, with many working from home and refraining from traveling. 

Australia 

Australia has proposed a three-step plan for reopening the country, with Step 1 starting on May 15, Step 2 on June 12, and Step 3 July 10, according to the Guardian

  • Step 1: Businesses, education campuses, and sporting facilities will reopen. Businesses must have a Covid-safe plan to prepare staff upon returning to work. Hairdressers and barbers will also reopen but must record customer details for contact tracing if necessary. People will be allowed to reconnect. For example, they can meet for non-work activities of up to ten people.
  • Step 2 is similar to Step 1 but with a greater number of people being allowed to meet.
  • Step 3 could see life returning to normal. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that Step 3 would “become clearer as we move through the first two steps”. 

United States of America 

America started to lift restrictions in order to resume economic activity despite having the greatest rate of confirmed coronavirus cases. 

Some states, such as Georgia, Oklahoma, and Alaska, are reopening salons, spas, and barbershops; however, some municipalities in Alaska continue to impose strict rules. 

Businesses in Texas, including restaurants, have opened in defiance of state guidelines. 

The governor of Colorado, Jared Polis will reopen certain businesses while promoting a “safer-at-home” mandate. 

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