Europe’s Lockdowns Are Easing After Weeks of Restrictions

After weeks of unprecedented restrictions on public life, governments around Europe are now taking steps to kickstart their shuttered economies. Germany is preparing to reopen restaurants and restart professional soccer games, while the Netherlands government has sped up its own plan to reopen.

More than four million people have been cleared to return to work in Italy and the Spanish population was allowed out to exercise for the first time in seven weeks. Some countries now allow restaurants to offer takeaways, others are permitting their citizens to get haircuts as well as visit zoos and museums.

Britain was one of the last countries to lock down citizens and hasn't eased any restrictions yet, making it an outlier among big economies in Europe, but that could change following a review on Sunday.

Hover your cursor over a country on the map below to see specifics on lockdown measures.

Covid-19 Lockdowns

Some restrictions are starting to ease as outbreaks level off

Source: Bloomberg

Life is nowhere close to returning to normal. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is already being slammed for being too cautious with his plans to reopen the economy. The Spanish parliament backed Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s request to extend a state of emergency by two weeks through May 23 and harder-hit places like Madrid and Barcelona are likely to be the last to see the end of the confinement.

Although Germany eased many lockdown measures, social-distancing rules were extended until at least June 5, and restrictions may be reinstated locally if hot spots emerge. When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveils his plans to reopen the economy, companies will probably be asked to stagger shifts and enforce social distancing with tape on floors.

Even Sweden, which hasn’t so far imposed a full lockdown, may be forced to adopt a tougher approach in enforcing social-distancing guidelines with people heading for parks, bars and restaurants as warm weather returns.

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