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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.