Sport World

How are countries around the world beginning to ease coronavirus lockdown measures?

As Boris Johnson wrestles with how to lead the UK out of coronavirus lockdown, many other world leaders have already outlined measures to see their countries return to some measure of normality.

For the UK, the government has set out “five tests” before lockdown measures can be eased:

  • When there’s a sustained and consistent fall in daily death rates to be confident the UK is beyond the peak
  • Once data from Sage shows the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels around the country
  • When testing capacity and PPE is sufficient enough to meet future demand
  • When experts are confident that any adjustments to the current measures would not risk a second peak in infections
  • When NHS’s ability to cope is protected and experts are confident that the NHS is able to provide sufficient critical care across the UK

medical staff test a supermarket employee who volunteered at a pop-up community COVID-19 testing station at a carpark in Christchurch.
Medical staff test a supermarket employee who volunteered at a pop-up community Covid-19 testing station at a car park in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Elsewhere, a growing number of countries are working towards easing restrictions with caveats including insisting the public wear masks outside, to the use of apps to trace those who may be carrying Covid-19.

Here’s how measures are being lifted around the world.

  • Germany

Anyone venturing out on to public transport must wear a mask – and the same face covering rules apply to most shops from this week.

How strict the rules are vary between states – for example, masks are not compulsory in shops in Berlin but are in Bavaria.

Homemade cloth masks are acceptable in most regions but there are vending machines at many transport hubs dispensing washable masks for commuters wanting to use trains and buses.

A vending machine in Berlin that dispenses masks.
  • New Zealand

New Zealand is preparing to ease rules on a strict lockdown with certain businesses such as construction allowed to reopen from midnight on Monday.

The country has not seen widespread community transition following an immediate and strict lockdown at the onset of the outbreak.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a partial reopening of the economy, with social distancing measures remaining in place.

  • Australia

More than one million Australians have downloaded an app designed to accelerate contact tracing for coronavirus.

Within 12 hours of the Covidsafe app becoming available on Sunday, 1.13 million of Australia’s population of 26 million had downloaded it, despite some privacy concerns.

Government officials intend to rush legislation through Parliament to outlaw use of collected data for purposes other than tracing people who might have the virus.

But the government says at least 40 per cent of the Australian population needs to take up the technology for it to be effective.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge delivers a Good Friday mass to an empty St. Stephen's Cathedral in Brisbane.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge delivers a Good Friday mass to an empty St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane. 
  • South Korea

Using an active test-and-quarantine program, South Korea has so far managed to slow its outbreak without imposing lockdowns or business bans.

The country is now looking at reopening schools as the number of cases begins to tail off. Prime Minster Chung Sye-kyun has instructed education authorities to prepare measures to ensure hygiene and enforce distance between students at schools.

The government plans to announce a timeline for reopening schools no later than early May.

  • United States

The easing of lockdown measures in the US is largely split along partisan political lines.

Governors in states including hard-hit New York and Michigan are keeping stay-at-home restrictions in place until at least mid-May, but officials in places such as Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska are already allowing certain businesses to reopen.

Protests have sprung up in various states across the country, demanding an end to lockdown measures designed to help contain the spread of the virus.

The US has the highest number of Covid-19 cases out of any country worldwide.

Once the epicentre of Europe’s Covid-19 outbreak, there are some encouraging signs coming from Italy as the country recorded the lowest daily death rate since mid-March.

Premier Giuseppe Conte has now laid out a timetable for getting back to normal, following seven weeks in strict lockdown.

Factories, construction sites and wholesale supply businesses can start up again once safety measures are in place against the virus.

From May 4, parks and gardens will reopen, funerals will be allowed, athletes can resume training, and people will be able to visit relatives living in the same region.

If all goes well, stores and museums will reopen on May 18, with restaurants, cafes and salons to follow on June 1.

  • Spain

A detailed plan for the “de-escalation” of Spain’s strict coronavirus lockdown will soon be presented by the country’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Some measures have already been eased with children allowed to go outside for the first time in six weeks.

Children under 14-years-old are now allowed to take walks with a parent for up to one hour and within one kilometre from home.

From Friday, this will be relaxed further to allow people of all ages to go on walks or exercise outdoors.

  • Czech Republic

The government in the Czech Republic is now allowing stores with a floor surface of up to 26,900sq ft to reopen.

Restrictions have been lifted to allow zoos and botanical parks, fitness centres, and driving schools to all reopen.

Rules on social distancing and mandatory face masks remain in place but public gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed – an increase from two.

Cars are parked in front of the Skoda car factory as it reopens in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic,
Cars are parked in front of the Skoda car factory as it reopens in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic.

In a boost for the country’s economy, the three Czech Skoda Auto factories that belong to Germany’s carmaker Volkswagen have renewed production, the company employs some 34,000 people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.