What the end of the lockdown might look like as Spain, Italy and France impose step-by-step exit plans


Boris Johnson is set to unveil plans for the UK to exit the coronavirus lockout this Sunday.

A review of the current measures will take place on Thursday, as scheduled, but the Prime Minister is not expected to preview the lockdown until the weekend.

Other European countries, including Spain, Italy and France, have already released their own step-by-step exit plans, as some blocking restrictions are slowly starting to be lifted this week.

Here we are looking at what these plans are and what it might mean before the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Sunday.


Measures in Italy have already started to be relaxed

The foreclosure in Italy began on March 8 when the restriction zone in the north was extended to cover the whole country.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte presented his plans on April 26 to ease government restrictions in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

He said movement of people will still be very limited under the plan, which plans to close schools until September.

Prime Minister Conte said the measures would be relaxed from May 4, with people being allowed to visit relatives in small numbers.

Phase two – May 4

May 18

  • More retail stores not opened under previous flexibilities will reopen with museums and libraries
  • Sports teams will also be able to organize group training from May 18

June 1


Prime Minister of Spain unveils four-step program

The lockdown was originally imposed in Spain on March 16 because people were prohibited from leaving their homes except to buy essential supplies and drugs or to work.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez unveiled a four-step program to lift the closure of the coronavirus last week.

The Prime Minister has declared that the provinces that meet the state of health requirements will go to phase 1 on May 11, with the exception of La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa in the Canaries, and Formentera, in the Balearic Islands, where phase 1 will begin on May 4.

Phase 0 – May 4-11

  • Hairdressers and other businesses that offer appointment services can reopen.
  • Restaurants can offer take-out meals.
  • Professional sports leagues can resume training.

Phase 1 – May 11

  • Reopening of small businesses under strict security conditions.
  • Bars and restaurants can allow customers to use terraces with an occupancy of not more than 30%.
  • Hotels and other tourist accommodation may reopen, with the exception of common areas, such as dining rooms.
  • Stores and other service providers must reserve preferential hours for customers over the age of 65.
  • Places of worship will also be reopened, limiting capacity to one third.

Phase 2 – end of May

  • Theaters and cinemas are recovering, at a third of their capacity.
  • Centers such as art galleries and museums will reopen, operating at only one third of their regular capacity.
  • Places of worship can increase capacity by 50%
  • Some schools will reopen, but most will remain closed until September.

Phase 3 – end of June

  • Stores will be allowed to open at half capacity with social distancing measures, keeping customers two meters apart.
  • Restrictions on restaurants and bars will be further relaxed.
  • The beaches will reopen.


People with masks walk on marks on the ground intended to encourage social distance to protect themselves from the spread of the coronavirus when they get on a metro in Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2020.

France locked out on March 17 when President Emmanuel Macron imposed a series of drastic new measures.

Speaking at the end of April, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said it was now time to lift the closure to avoid an economic collapse.

The French Prime Minister said that certain regions of the country had been affected much more severely than others by the virus, which meant that the blocking measures would be lifted by zone.

Each area can be classified as red, orange or green depending on its level of infection.

However, if infection rates have not continued to fall as expected in the coming weeks, the Prime Minister has said that the French government will not ease the lock-up on May 11 or do so more strictly.

Regarding the lifting of workplace restrictions, Philippe said that all employees would be encouraged to continue working from home if possible.

When this was not possible, companies in France should introduce shift work to guarantee physical distance and masks would be compulsory when this was not possible.

May 11

  • French children can start returning to pre-school and primary classes on a voluntary basis, with classes limited to 15 students.
  • Most non-essential stores and markets will be allowed to reopen from May 11, except those in shopping centers, but not bars and restaurants

  • Public transport should resume with 70% of the planned Paris network.

May 18

  • High schools can reopen in areas with low infections, with a decision to be made in late May to find out if high schools can reopen in June.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here