Across Europe, curfews are being eased. In some countries, businesses and schools are opened, leagues are restarting, and tourism is planned to be revived.
We have compiled the decisions made by some countries below.
Germany: Shops open, football league begins again
Germany began to ease curfews. The 16 federal governments in Germany will decide which measures to mitigate for the regions under their control. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that if new cases increase, the measures will be implemented again.
- All shops were reopened with additional hygiene and social distance rules.
- Car dealers, cyclists and bookshops, and shops smaller than 800 m2 were allowed to open on April 20.
- Schools are reopened for young children and those who will take the exam. Other students will gradually return to schools during the summer months.
- Bundesliga football matches will restart behind closed doors on May 16. Thus, it will be the first major league to return to matches in Europe.
- Two separate households will be allowed to meet each other.
Greece: Plans are made to open the country to tourism
The first Covid-19 incident in Greece was detected on February 26, and the government quickly introduced curfews. On April 28, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that the measures would be eased.
- Churches were opened on May 4 for individual prayers, and religious rites will be allowed from May 17.
- Schools opened this week for senior students. Additional measures were introduced, such as students going to schools on different days.
- The shops were reopened this week and shopping malls will open their doors on June 1st.
- Cafes and restaurants will be allowed to open on June 1, but will only be allowed to sit outside and serve by placing a distance between the chairs.
- Greek scientists are also working on measures to open the country for tourism. The beaches were reopened on May 4.
France: Document obligation mostly disappeared for the travel
In France, tight curfews were imposed on March 17, and the French had to have a travel permit in order to go out. Starting this week, these constraints have been eased, and the situation will be reviewed three weeks later.
The French will no longer need to have a permit to travel up to 100 km from their homes. For further journeys, a certificate will be required and an employer’s letter of assignment or a valid reason to travel will still be sought during peak hours in Paris.
- France will be divided into two, 4 settlements have been called the “red zone”, parks, gardens, and schools will continue to be closed for young people aged 11-18.
- Daycare centers and primary schools opened this week. Schools will be opened on May 18 in “green zones” for ages 11-15. A maximum of 15 students will be able to study in classrooms and a mask will be mandatory for older children. High school students between the ages of 15-18 will not be able to return to education before June.
- All shops will reopen. Social facilities and cemeteries. However, cafes and restaurants will remain closed.
- Meetings of less than 10 people will be allowed. The elderly will be allowed to go out, but they will be asked to follow the rules.
Ireland: a 5-step plan
Curfews in Ireland are more stringent than in England. Residents of the country are allowed to exercise within 2 km of their homes. However, the country is starting to normalize as of May 18 with a 5-step road map. The constraints will be reviewed every three weeks.
- The workers who work outside, like construction workers or gardeners, will be able to start working again from May 18th.
- Kindergartens and kindergartens will be opened for children of persons designated as ‘key employees’ on 29 June, while children of other employees will start school on 20 July. Babysitters will be able to go to 5 thousand ‘key employees’ homes from 18 May.
- Starting from 8 June, visits between the houses will be allowed. From 29 June, people will be able to travel, provided that they do not get too far from their homes at 20 km.
- Weddings, baptism ceremonies, and gatherings attended by a small number of people will be allowed from 20 July. only families and close friends will be able to join.
- Small shops that sell goods that are not in urgent need will open on June 8, larger businesses will be able to return to work starting on June 29.
Belgium: Cafes and restaurants will open
The constraints are slowly being lifted in the country where a large number of deaths occur in nursing homes. “We will have to gradually return to our social life,” Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès explained the road map of Belgium.
- As of May 10, people living in the same household started to accept outside visitors, up to 4 people. However, these 4 people will not be allowed to visit other homes.
- Fabric shops reopened on May 4, because the new regulations require that all Belgians aged 12 and over wear masks in public transport.
Other shops were opened from May 11, provided that they adhere to strict social distance rules.
- Schools will restart education on May 18, but there will be no more than 10 students in classrooms.
Cafes and restaurants will open on June 8.
Spain: Cinema, theater, and exhibitions will open
On May 4, Spain implemented a four-stage plan to alleviate one of the tightest curfews in Europe. Children under the age of 14 could not leave the house for six weeks.
The restrictions were alleviated, starting in some parts of the country, in blocks of two weeks until June 10, but this decision will be revised if there is an increase in the number of cases.
- Schools will be partially reopened on May 26. This will allow exams to be held, but schools are not expected to be fully opened until September.
- From 11 May, customers will be able to go to terrace bars, paying attention to the social distance rule, and these businesses will work with 50 percent capacity. Bars and restaurants will not be fully opened until June 10.
- Cinemas, theaters, and exhibitions will be allowed to open from May 26 but will operate at 30 percent capacity. More than 400 people will not be allowed to attend concerts outside, and they will be allowed, provided they stay away from each other.
- Churches and mosques reopened this week but will serve at partial capacity.
Italy: Bars and restaurants expected to start serving again
Italy had a long period of strict quarantine. It was forbidden to walk or exercise 200 meters from the house. At the beginning of May, some constraints were relieved, and people can now go to longer distances. They can visit their relatives provided that there are only a few. Travel inside the country is still forbidden.
- Bars and restaurants are able to provide takeaway service, and they are expected to start serving again completely from 1 June.
- Hairdressers and beauty salons will reopen on June 1.
- More shops will open on May 18, along with museums and libraries.
- From 18 May, sports teams will also be able to train collectively.
- The Catholic Church will be allowed to hold rituals from 18 May.