World continues lifting lockdown restrictions amidst COVID-19 pandemic
The relaxation of lockdown restrictions became a global trend in recent days. In particular, Germany allows large shops and even restaurants in some regions of the country to reopen. In France, people can go outside without a special permit. The restrictions on outdoor sports exercises and walks have been gradually lifted. Shops reopened, while restaurants are still closed. French authorities suggest continuing working remotely in order to avoid crowded public transport. Cinemas, casinos, swimming pools, fitness centers and camping sites will remain closed until June. Similar measures became effective of May 11 in Switzerland and Belgium.
In one of the hardest-hit European Union countries in the pandemic, Spain, for the first time in almost two months of lockdown, half of the country’s 47-million population is allowed to go outside. People, however, must comply with social distancing rules. Restaurants can resume receiving customers to a limited extent and only outdoors.
In the United Kingdom, people who can’t work from home are allowed to get back to their offices, but they must follow hygiene regulations and maintain social distancing. People will be allowed to go outside, including trips to the coast or the national parks, with members of their own household, as well as do unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise starting May 13.
In Denmark, all retail shops, including shopping centers, are reopening. Similar lifting measures were introduced in Greece. Local authorities say that up to one third of all workers in the country will be able to return to work due to the relaxation of lockdown restrictions. Senior school students are returning to their schools in Greece.
Museums, galleries, cinemas and concert halls are reopening in the Czech Republic with no more than 100 visitors in the halls. Hotels, hostels and shopping centers reopened in Poland. The Baltic countries reopen their joint borders starting May 15.
Today, on May 12, the national period of non-working days in Russia is over for all sectors of the economy. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that individual regions will be able to keep restrictions in place if needed.
In the United States, in particular in the New York State, which was the hardest-hit state in the pandemic, some coronavirus quarantine restrictions will be eased. Enterprises and services with the low risk of human infection will be able to restart their work starting Friday, May 15. Outdoor tennis courts and drive-in movie theaters will be allowed to reopen across the state. Landscaping and gardening will also be resumed.
According to the data from Johns Hopkins University, reported cases of COVID-19 infection worldwide stand at more than 4.1 million.