The making of the ‘new normal’ around the world.

Some countries are suddenly feeling confident, and as a result, they have or are attempting to reopen their economies, while also being able to assure people they have now safely limited the spread of the coronavirus. Although there is no tried and tested and obvious path back to ‘normality’, countries are issuing plans that appear quite similar to each other. Some are moving forward with the phased reopening of shopping malls, golf courses, driving ranges, restaurants and cafes, while others are reopening religious places, schools and sporting activities.

The common understanding amongst political leaders, irrespective of their political orientation, is that the more prolonged the shutdown, the more gruelling the effect on the economy.

Here is how some countries are getting on with their staged reopenings:

United States of America 

By 23 May, all 50 American states will be in the process of reopening societies and restarting their economies. While the country struggles to halt the advance of the virus, it is slowly accepting to learn to live with it -- at least until a successful vaccine is developed.

Bosnia 

On 27 April, Bosnian authorities eased their lockdown measures. Senior citizens will now be permitted to leave their homes for up to three hours, and some businesses will be allowed to reopen, too. 

In this picture, people perform their Friday prayers on their personal rugs while obeying social distance rules at Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 8 May, 2020.
In this picture, people perform their Friday prayers on their personal rugs while obeying social distance rules at Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 8 May, 2020. (AA)

South Korea 

South Korearelaxed its social distancing restrictions on 6 May and allowed businesses and schools to reopen in phases. Gatherings and events are also now allowed to take place, as long as they follow government guidelines. 

High school students wearing protective masks take an exam in a classroom, amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Seoul, South Korea, 21 May, 2020.
High school students wearing protective masks take an exam in a classroom, amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Seoul, South Korea, 21 May, 2020. (AFP)

Australia

Australia started gradually lifting Covid-19 restrictions two weeks ago. Additional safety procedures have been implemented to ensure customer and staff safety, including temperature checks, social distancing measures and limiting the number of visitors  permitted in a store at one time.

In this picture, a customer has her temperature tested before entering the Apple Store at Bondi Junction on 7 May, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Apple stores across Australia reopened today after closing temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In this picture, a customer has her temperature tested before entering the Apple Store at Bondi Junction on 7 May, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Apple stores across Australia reopened today after closing temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Getty Images)

Spain

On 4 May, Spain finally eased restrictions on some of its least-affected islands. The measures follow consistent drops in the number of daily recorded deaths. The country is also opening other businesses such as restaurants and book shops, too.

In this picture, a hairstylist cleans the hair of a woman in a sink that is separated off by a methacrylate screen. At the same time, an employee disinfects an armchair covered in plastic on 4 May, 2020 in Seville, Spain.
In this picture, a hairstylist cleans the hair of a woman in a sink that is separated off by a methacrylate screen. At the same time, an employee disinfects an armchair covered in plastic on 4 May, 2020 in Seville, Spain. (Getty Images)

Turkey

Towards the end of Ramadan and after Eid, the Turkish government aims to speed up the opening up of its economy. Sectors like the tourism and catering industry are set to make a gradual transition toward normal business, all the while keeping the essential medical advice at the fore.

Mosques are scheduled to reopen from 29 May, starting with the Friday prayer. The suspended top-tier Super Lig football competitions will restart on 12 June.

Children wearing protective masks at a playground after those under 14 years of age were finally allowed to leave their homes across Turkey between strict daylight hours, remaining all the while apart from others at safe distances and donning masks - Ankara, Turkey, 20 May, 2020.
Children wearing protective masks at a playground after those under 14 years of age were finally allowed to leave their homes across Turkey between strict daylight hours, remaining all the while apart from others at safe distances and donning masks - Ankara, Turkey, 20 May, 2020. (Ozge Elif Kizil / AA)

Germany 

Germany opened up partially in early May after the country's Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country's goal of stopping the spread of the virus had been achieved. In the following weeks, it rushed the opening of most workplaces, attracting the criticism of the World Medical Association, who accused the German government of acting solely on economic grounds and underestimating the risk to public health in their easing of restrictions.

A zoo official wears a face shield and visits Zoologischer Garten Zoo after opening for visitors in Berlin, Germany on 28 April, 2020.
A zoo official wears a face shield and visits Zoologischer Garten Zoo after opening for visitors in Berlin, Germany on 28 April, 2020. (AA)

Thailand

On May 16, Thailand reported no new coronavirus cases or deaths. The following day it eased restrictions, allowing malls and department stores to reopen. It also shortened night curfews by one hour.  

People are resuming their exercise routines in parks, getting haircuts at salons and dining out for the first time in more than six weeks. In this picture, people eat in between plastic partitions, set up in an effort to contain any further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Penguin Eat Shabu hot pot restaurant in Bangkok on 5 May, 2020.
People are resuming their exercise routines in parks, getting haircuts at salons and dining out for the first time in more than six weeks. In this picture, people eat in between plastic partitions, set up in an effort to contain any further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Penguin Eat Shabu hot pot restaurant in Bangkok on 5 May, 2020. (AFP)
Source: TRT World