A gradual return to normal is forming, despite epidemiological indications that remain very uncertain. Kindergarten and primary school pupils return to school on Monday, April 26th, at the start of a French progressive class. If the curfew is not announced, travel restrictions should be lifted from May 3. The French will then find a portion of their spare time – reopening certain cultural venues, accessing stands – from mid-May, if the government considers the health status permitting. >> Covid-19: Find the latest information on the epidemic in our live book What About Our Neighbors? As the third wave of Covid-19 continues to advance in Europe, many countries have already relaxed their restrictions.
Italy has partially reopened bars, restaurants, cinemas and theaters
The Italian peninsula cautiously disintegrated. Restaurants, bars, cinemas and theaters reopened in some areas on Monday, April 26. Fourteen districts are labeled yellow, which is the lowest risk for the epidemic, and five in orange. Only Sardinia remains a “red zone”.
Bars and restaurants in yellow areas are now allowed to serve customers on the balcony again. Cinemas, theaters and concert halls can accommodate audiences up to 50% of their normal capacity. Swimming pools, gyms and theme parks can be opened by July 1st. But a curfew that begins at 10 pm and ends at 5 am is still in effect across the country.
The head of the Italian council, Mario Draghi, believes that this deconstruction represents a ‘Accounts are at risk’. The country still records an average of more than 300 deaths every day, but infections and the number of intensive care admissions are decreasing. The vaccination campaign has reached a rapid speed with around 350,000 doses being administered every day, despite regional variations.
On Wednesday, it will be Holland’s turn to find a piece of their former lives. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the curfew, in effect for a period of three months, will be lifted, and bars and restaurants will be able to serve customers abroad, between noon and 6 pm, with a maximum of 50 people. However, as in Italy, the indications of the epidemic remain alarming.
The UK is a vaccination champion
This long-awaited comeback resonates with the one the UK launched in March. Schools reopened on March 8 with a strict health protocol. College students are invited to test themselves twice a week. On April 12th, stores, bars, cafes and restaurants once again welcomed customers. After more than three months of strict confinement, bars and restaurants have only partially reopened: on the balcony, with no more than six customers collected per table. Traveling abroad is still prohibited.
Cinemas, museums and the interiors of restaurants and bars are scheduled to reopen to the public on May 17th. But progress in the dismantling process remains conditional on the development of the epidemic. The country had started its third confinement in early January. The UK has provided at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to nearly 50% of its population, according to the latest figures from Our world in data (In English).
Decommissioning began in Switzerland, Belgium and Portugal
Other countries, such as Portugal, Belgium and Switzerland, have also begun to ease health measures. Portugal began a gradual downsizing plan in mid-March. The latter should end on May 3, with the last restrictions lifted. Bars, restaurants, shops, cinemas and theaters are currently open under certain conditions. Schools, colleges and high schools have resumed lessons face-to-face.
On Monday, April 19 Switzerland reopened its terraces of bars and restaurants, as well as cinemas, concert halls, theaters, sports halls and stadiums. This satisfaction is framed by a strict health protocol.
Belgium began the partial return to school of pupils on Monday, April 19. Face-to-face lessons are only held for elementary and beginning secondary school students. From the third, courses are given alternately. Starting April 26, non-essential companies can greet the public without an appointment and contact professions, such as hairdressers, and resume their activity. The terraces for cafes and restaurants should reopen on May 8.
Germany tightens the screw
Faced with the resurgence of cases and the threat posed by the variables, Germany is heading in the opposite direction of its neighbors. Berlin on Saturday reinforced its arsenal against the Covid-19 epidemic, by imposing a national curfew.
The country had so far planned to cancel the liquidation in early March. However, as of March 13, many districts have closed schools. Others decided to enforce the curfew soon after. Chancellor Angela Merkel has sought to universalize health restrictions throughout the Federal District by imposing a curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM. The disengagement schedule has not been planned for the time being.
In Spain, deconfinement in mid-May
In Spain, bars, restaurants and non-essential stores reopened at the end of February, but curfews remain in effect, from 10pm to 6am and additional restrictions are applied regionally. The central government plans to end the state of health emergency, declared in October 2020, on May 10. By this date, travel between autonomous regions and communities should be able to resume travel, as well as travel abroad.
However, the San Fermin Festivals in Pamplona, which are traditionally held in July in northern Spain, have been canceled for the second year in a row due to the epidemic.