Countries all over the world debate exit strategies to buffer the blow of the coronavirus pandemic locally and globally.
Some have started to ease lockdown restrictions to restart local economies.
European countries are also considering how to reopen their shuttered societies – Germany, the Czech Republic, Norway and others prepared to lift some restrictions, while France and Spain ruled out any relaxation for several weeks.
Jordan announced lifting lockdown measures in three southern governorates, allowing people’s movement and the reopening of commercial establishments forced to shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Jordanian decision comes as the governorates of Karak, Tafileh and Maan have not recorded any cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began in March, according to State Minister for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh.
He said citizens will be allowed to go out of their houses between 10:00 to 18:00, but the situation will be monitored for three days to ensure adherence to health and safety precautions.
President Donald Trump has promised to unveil plans to reopen the world’s largest economy following cautious moves in Europe, claiming the United States “passed the peak” of coronavirus cases.
The confirmed coronavirus death toll in Europe approached 102,485 today (April 20) with infection rates taking a gradual dip. This heaps pressure on governments to start easing the economic and social burden of a weeks-long shutdown.
Germany allows small retail spaces to reopen from today alongside car dealerships, cycling stores and bookshops, though people will be urgently advised to wear masks while in public.
In Belgium, Garden centres and hardware shops have been permitted to open under the same conditions as essential food stores.
In Slovenia, Holiday home owners are permitted to travel to their homes. Government has also permitted sporting activities that do not involve close contact, such as cycling or tennis.
In the United Kingdom, employees are allowed to travel to work whether or not they are key or essential staff, as long as it is not reasonably possible to work from home.
According to the dailymail.co.uk, police have told people in England they can go out to buy alcohol, take an animal to the vet or stop to have a rest while on a walk during the coronavirus lockdown.
Poland will reopen parks and forests from today, while children in Norway will return to kindergarten and open-air markets in the Czech Republic will be permitted to trade as part of a six-week strategy to gradually lift restrictions.
Norway opens parks and forests whilst easing easing limits on number of people in shops.
Mining and oil industries reopened on 20 April plus some other businesses in Albania.
In Italy, bookshops, laundries, stationers, children’s clothes stores reopened in some regions. Forestry workers and IT manufacturers back at work. Full lockdown set to end 4 May.
In Austria, public parks, small shops, DIY and gardening supply stores reopened with strict distancing rules and masks.
Larger shops and hairdressers are due to open from 1 May. Restaurants in mid-May
In Denmark, daycare centres and primary schools have reopened. Restaurants and cafes closed and gatherings of more than 10 people banned until 10 May. Larger gatherings banned until August.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has thanked people for “stopping an uncontrolled explosion of Covid-19”, as she announced an easing of lockdown.
The country has been applauded for its quick and strict response to the virus, and will move from “Level 4” lockdown to “Level 3” late next Monday.
It means some businesses can reopen, along with some schools, while rules on local travel will be relaxed.
In Bulgaria, Parliament voted on 6 April to ease some restrictions and sanctions imposed in March, with farmers’ markets allowed to reopen and fines on some activities reduced.
In Czech Republic, five-stage plan started 20 April with open-air markets and workshops and ends on 8 June. Czechs may now also travel abroad providing they undergo two-week quarantine on return.
In Spain, with nearly 200,210 confirmed cases and more than 20,000 deaths, authorities said at the weekend they would hold off on lifting one of Europe’s tightest lockdowns.
With the easing tread, lockdown may end sooner than planned globally.