Gradual COVID-19 lockdown lifting in Europe

Gradual COVID-19 lockdown lifting in Europe

Slovenia is the first country in Europe to announce the end of the pandemic. Just one new case was reported on Thursday in Slovenia and all the information shows that the number of infected people is decreasing. It is mandatory to wear face masks in Slovenia and people are prohibited from gathering. The government will keep in place these restrictions alongside testing and tracing the infected people until the end of May. However, the travel restrictions for EU residents are eased and they won't be quarantined if they haven't been out of the EU in the last 14 days. 

Spain has planned a 4-stages strategy to reach a new normal. The phase 0 started on May 4 and last for one week. In this phase takeaway, restaurants, and hair salons were opened. In phase 1, libraries and gyms (with the condition of one person per appointment) were opened. In this phase up to 10 peoples were allowed to gather. The government asked people who can work remotely to stay at home and shops had to maintain a 2-meter distance between their clients.

social distancing

Belgium has allowed shops to reopen under the restrictions on social distancing. 

In the next phase, cinemas will be opened with a third of their capacities. At the last phase which starts on June 8, companies will go back to work with employers wearing personal protective equipment. Spain has no plan to reopen the school until September and everybody entering the country has to be quarantined for two weeks.

Italy started easing the restrictions on May 4 by allowing people to go to their home even if it meant traveling to another province. Several businesses such as restaurant takeaways, construction, and manufacturing resumed their activities on this day too. People can go to the park while following social distancing rules and avoiding gatherings. From May 18, restaurants, bars, and hair salons will be opened too. 

In The Netherlands primary schools are getting reopened partially and libraries, hair salons, and driving schools have resumed their businesses.

In Germany the federal states are in charge of easing the quarantine. The shops are reopened with the condition of following social distancing rules. The schools are also reopened for exams and young children. Besides these, football matches are resumed as well and families can meet as well. Also only people from countries with high and rising infections will have a two-weeks quarantine. 


In the UK, the government has published a plan to exit from the quarantine. Currently people are asked to work from home or use private transportation if they have to be present at

the workplace. Only 2% of children are attending schools and the teachers are working remotely. There is no travel ban inside the UK. However, they only can meet with one person outside your home. Wearing a face mask is advised where people can’t maintain the proper distance from each other.

France has started easing the restrictions. Over one million children have returned to school in the last week but the universities won’t be opened until September. The shops are getting reopened and people are allowed to travel within the country. However, the capital which is in the red zone is still under restrictions.

Switzerland has also partially reopened primary and middle schools. Museums, bookstores, and restaurants have resumed their activities too.

Can these actions in order to reach a new normal be a promising sign to corona-free days?


Author: Effat Fazel
Date: 5/16/2020


2020 May 16