France has announced plans to begin easing its coronavirus lockdown within two weeks – schools and non-essential businesses are expected to reopen from May 11.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has declared that permits will no longer be required to leave the house from this date and that small museums may also begin to readmit guests.
However, people will still be required to work from home as much as possible, while restaurants and bars will also remain closed, he told parliament.
Philippe acknowledged that the lockout had saved 62,000 lives in a month, but said it would be reimposed if the total of daily infections in France fell by more than 3,000 cases. Since April 15, the average number of daily cases has been 2,162.
France is the last European country to announce a phased end to its foreclosure of coronaviruses after cases and deaths on the continent have declined – Italy is now in the “phase two” of its viral response and Spain ahead announce their own set of measures later today.
France will begin easing the lockout restrictions from May 11 with the reopening of the first non-essential stores and schools. Masks will not be required in public, but store owners can ask people to wear them before entering
While construction work has resumed, France will ask office staff to continue working from home if possible after May 11.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe added that restaurants and bars will remain closed after May 11 and that restrictions will only be lifted if the total of daily infections remains below 3,000.
Joggers from the Italian city of Naples hit the streets on Tuesday as strict coronavirus lockdown measures began to be relaxed across the country.
Dozens of people were photographed heading for Lungomare, the city’s waterfront promenade, at sunrise – while pizzerias were also allowed to reopen for deliveries.
Meanwhile, Luxembourg has announced its intention to test its entire population of 600,000 people for the virus in a single month, starting on May 19, which the government says would be essential to loosen measures to locking.
Claude Meisch, the Minister of Research, told L’Essential that 20,000 tests will be performed daily at 17 stations across the country.
Luxembourg currently performs around 1,000 tests a day, mainly on people who have reported symptoms.
The country has so far detected 3,729 cases of coronavirus, with 88 confirmed deaths from the virus.
Since the start of the crisis, Europe has seen some 1.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases on the continent and more than 124,000 people are dying from the virus.
But the epicenter now seems to be moving across the Atlantic – with more than a million people diagnosed in the United States and the death toll rising in Brazil.
As a result, European nations are now coming out of foreclosure measures that had seen the continent reduced to near halt in March and April.
France will begin to lift its lockout against coronaviruses from May 11, with markets and other non-essential retailers being the first to reopen.
The country will also start to reopen schools from the same date, but only if teachers cannot guarantee more than 15 children in each class at a time.
People will no longer need a permit to be on the streets from this date, although bars and restaurants will remain closed, except for delivery services.
Despite a recent increase in infections, France has experienced a general drop in its figures since its peak towards the beginning of the month (daily totals represented until April 27)
Despite several significant peaks, France has experienced a general decline in deaths from coronaviruses since early April (daily totals shown until April 27, most recent date available)
France is the last European country to announce a relaxation of restrictions on coronaviruses as the continent emerges from the worst epidemic of coronaviruses in the world
Along with easing the lockout restrictions, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said that a massively increased effort in testing and tracing contacts will be used to keep people safe.
He said the goal would be to test 700,000 people a week, with the government trying to screen and trace anyone who has been in contact with someone who tests positive for the disease.
Masks will also be made available to everyone from May 11, companies being allowed to insist that visitors wear one before entering the store, although there is no general requirement to wear one in public.
He called on all companies to provide workers with masks and will help small businesses get them if necessary.
Masks will also be on sale on the post office’s website and five million will be distributed each week to the most vulnerable, he said.
High school students will have to wear masks, unlike elementary students.
France to present plans to ease lockout restrictions on Tuesday, with schools slated to return in a few weeks (photo, bookstore in Paris offering “click and collect” service)
People line up in front of French electronics retailer Boulanger to retrieve orders after stores have been allowed to operate “click and collect” services despite the lockout
France said it would increase metro services in anticipation of an increase in the number of people in public, but would force travelers to adhere to strict social distancing rules
Philippe added that if the total daily infections increased above 3,000 people, the lockout would remain in place. Since April 15, France has recorded an average of 2,162 new cases per day.
The French football season has also been canceled, as no match can be played before September at the earliest, which is already after the start of next season.
Sports officials have yet to announce whether there will be a winner or relegation based on this season’s standings at the end of the season.
The Italians began to taste their first taste of freedom on Tuesday as the country began to emerge from one of the strictest and longest closings in Europe.
Conte announced on Monday that people will now be allowed to travel to their home regions – but not between regions – while distance limits on the exercise will also be relaxed.
Bars and restaurants, which are currently allowed to open only for delivery, will be allowed to provide takeaway service from May 4.
Italy has been stranded nationwide since March 10, but the government has now outlined plans for a phased return to normal – including allowing outdoor exercise
Dozens of people took to the streets after Italian Prime Minister announced that the exercise would be allowed outside the house
The measures taken by Italy to end the foreclosure came as the number of cases of coronavirus has steadily decreased since the country reached its peak in mid-March (daily totals are shown until April 27)
Daily totals for deaths in Italy have also been falling steadily since the end of March (daily totals are shown until April 27, the most recent date available).
Commuters on a train in Milan with stickers on the ground indicating where people should stand and on the seats, indicating how far apart people should sit
Man waits for metro in Milan, formerly at the center of the epidemic in Italy, after lockouts have begun to loosen
Some stores – such as bookstores and dry cleaners – were allowed to reopen on April 14, but all non-essential stores not covered by this order will be allowed to reopen on May 18.
Museums and libraries will be allowed to reopen on the same date, while sports teams will also be able to resume group training.
Hairdressers, beauty salons, bars and restaurants are expected to reopen for dinner from June 1, but will still need to observe some form of social distancing.
However, the easing should be hampered by the fact that schools will remain closed until September, which means that many workers will not be able to return to work.
Joggers are seen along Lungomare – Naples’ seaside promenade – Tuesday morning after Italy began to loosen its lockdown measures
Italy has already authorized the reopening of restaurants for delivery, and plans to resume takeout services on May 4
Parish priest Lorenzo Roncali got into the back of a classic VW car while spraying holy water at the entrance to homes in the northern Italian town of Crema on Tuesday.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is also expected to present his plans to end the foreclosure on Tuesday, after presenting them to his cabinet, which will vote on their approval.
Sanchez’s plan is expected to include four phases with more firms allowed to reopen with each passing stage, according to El Pais.
However, unlike another European leader, Sanchez is not expected to announce a firm date for the start of the phases and will instead define certain criteria that must be met to move from one phase to the next.
The measures will be reviewed every two weeks to assess their impact, reports the newspaper.
Spain should present plans to end its foreclosure today, including when bars (represented in Madrid) and restaurants may reopen
This comes after Spain allowed the children to leave the home this week for short walks, having previously prohibited them from leaving the house for any reason.
Although the plan of the plans remains vague, they could imply that different age groups are allowed to go out at different times of the day after the measure was presented by Health Minister Salvador Illa.
The announcement follows a new ordinance that allows children to take supervised walks around their home for one hour a day.
They had previously not been allowed out for any reason.
Spain has also allowed some industrial and construction workers to return to their jobs.
Officials have publicly called for responsibility and avoiding crowds after people have been seen on walks and beach fronts closer than experts recommend.
Boy wearing face mask rides his bike next to a disinfectant worker on a bench in Madrid on April 28
Despite a recent peak, Spain has seen its daily infection totals decrease steadily since early April, with 1,308 cases reported on April 28.
Spain has also seen a steady decline in the number of deaths from coronavirus, with 301 new deaths recorded on April 28
Austria will take further steps to ease its lockdown on Friday, allowing events for up to 10 people and signaling to the public that they no longer need a specific reason for leaving their homes, the government announced on Tuesday.
Six weeks ago, Austria intervened at the start of its coronavirus epidemic to shut down restaurants, bars, schools, non-essential stores and other gathering places. DIY stores, garden centers and small stores reopened two weeks ago – larger stores and hairdressers will follow as of May 1.
An enclosed wine bar called Heurige at Grinzing in Vienna, Austria
The public has been asked several times to stay at home, although this is largely advice rather than a legal requirement.
Friday’s recommendation will be to follow existing rules on social distancing, such as staying 1 meter apart, although working from home is still encouraged, said Health Minister Rudolf Anschober and the Minister of the Interior Karl Nehammer.
“From my point of view, this is a very big change and a very big step, in which we are betting on confidence,” said Anschober. “It is now … each of us not to be reckless but to conscientiously continue to fully implement these measures. “
The Hungarian government plans to ease the foreclosure that has kept the country’s businesses closed and residents mainly at home since mid-March, according to the pro-government newspaper Magyar Nemzet, which released the outline of the plans on Tuesday.
Hungary, like most other countries, restricted public gatherings and closed businesses during the new coronavirus pandemic. He avoided the massive toll in Italy and Spain, with 2,649 cases early Tuesday and 291 deaths in a population of 10 million people.
Audi factory worker wears mask after being allowed to return to work in Gyor, Hungary
As a result, he built up a supply of protective equipment and hospital technologies such as respirators. With the health system prepared for an increase in the number of cases, gradual opening is now possible, said Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The release will begin early next month, Orban said Friday, adding that he expected the economy to recover quickly from the effects of the pandemic.
Portugal has announced that it will end the coronavirus state of emergency, under which non-essential activities have been closed, from 3 May.
The country will then enter “phase two” of its response, announced Tuesday President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, without specifying exactly what that would imply.
A man walks past a poster in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon which reads #fiqueemcasa or ‘#stayathome’
However, he warned that the economy would gradually recover and that the measures would not be lifted all at once.
“What matters in this new phase is that the Portuguese know that containment remains important, so we have to take small steps and constantly assess,” he said.
Portugal has recorded 24,322 cases of coronavirus and 948 deaths since the start of its outbreak.