India, US to China, here is list of countries who may ease coronavirus lockdowns
Countries around the world are wondering when and how to ease coronavirus lockdowns, though the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that should be done slowly and only when there is capacity to isolate cases and trace contacts.
Following is a summary of steps taken or considered by the most affected nations.
2. ITALY and SPAIN
ITALY, with the most COVID-19-linked deaths in Europe, lifted restrictions on two categories of shops - stationers and children`s clothes - on April 14 and the government is due to present further easing steps by April 24 that would apply from May 4.
SPAIN`s lockdown is due to apply until May 9, with some easing, under an "asymmetric" exit lockdown phase for some regions or groups from April 27.
3. FRANCE, BRITAIN and GERMANY
FRANCE and BRITAIN, the two other European countries with more than 10,000 deaths, are keeping curbs in place into next month. French President Emmanuel Macron said schools and shops would gradually re-open from May 11, but restaurants, hotels, cafes and cinemas would remain shut for longer. British lockdown measures have been extended until at least May 7.
GERMANY, Europe`s largest economy, allowed stores of up to 800 square metres (8,611 square feet), car dealers and bike shops to reopen on April 20, while schools will reopen on May 4. The government and heads of 16 German states will discuss how to proceed further on April 30. (Photo: Reuters)
4. UNITED STATES
The UNITED STATES, which has the world`s highest infections and deaths, is inching towards a gradual resumption of business. On April 17, President Donald Trump unveiled a three-stage process for states to end shutdowns, a plan which is a set of recommendations for state governors, not orders.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose state is the hardest hit, said on April 20 that restrictions must be lifted in a way that prevents further outbreaks. (Photo: Reuters)
CANADA will need to keep strict physical distancing in place, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on April 19.
Lockdowns are set to continue in BRAZIL’s largest cities and most states, with Sao Paulo extending its social distancing measures until April 22 and Rio de Janeiro until April 30, despite President Jair Bolsonaro`s repeated calls to end stay-at-home orders that he said were hurting the economy. (Photo: Reuters)
7. SAUDI ARABIA
CHINA earlier this month lifted the lockdown of Wuhan, where the outbreak began. On April 15, the city`s vice mayor said it aimed to fully restore rail, flight and freight operations by the end of April. Prevention measures remain elsewhere, including Beijing. Now Beijing is in talks with some countries, including Singapore, for fast-track entry by business and technical visitors on urgent tasks. (Photo: Reuters)
9. JAPAN and SOUTH KOREA
JAPAN`s state of emergency, expanded nationwide on April 16, will last until May 6 to reduce traffic during the Golden Week holiday season around the start of May.
SOUTH KOREA, lauded for controlling its outbreak, extended its social distancing policy for another 16 days on April 19, but offered some relief for churches and sporting fixtures. (Photo: Reuters)