To get back on their feet, many countries have started the process of easing the coronavirus lockdown, introducing the staged relaxation of quarantine rules.
Many countries around the world are in the process of easing coronavirus lockdown measures as the fatality rate from the virus has started to wane.
That being said, the danger of the coronavirus hasn't passed yet. The nations trying to normalise social and economic life are primarily driven by minimising the negative effects of the pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the global economy, leaving people in the lurch.
Following China, the first country that removed restrictions, governments are considering taking steps such as opening small shops and allowing people to walk on beaches.
Here are some countries that are considering relaxation measures.
After imposing one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in late March, New Zealand began opening up to a certain extent a month later.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the spread of the disease has slowed due to tight month-long restrictions.
Around 400,000 people returned to work after Ardern shifted the country’s alert level down a notch, loosening some of the tough restrictions on movement that shut down businesses for weeks.
New Zealand decreased the alert level from four to three on April 27, a few days later than the scheduled one-month lockdown, after which it will be in alert level 3 for two weeks.
Surfing, walks on the beach and a round of golf were popular pursuits as the country’s five million residents experienced a taste of freedom after one of the strictest lockdowns in the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite removing some restrictions, Prime Minister Ardern said: “It’s an ongoing battle.”
“There is no one point in time that this mission ends. We are in the next phase of the battle and we are not done,” she added.
South Korea's handling of the pandemic has proved effective, thanks to widespread testing, intensive contact tracing and tracking apps that enabled the East Asian nation to limit the spread of the virus rather than rely on lengthy lockdowns seen elsewhere.
By May 6, the government “will allow businesses to resume at facilities in phases that had remained closed up until now, and also allow gatherings and events to take place assuming they follow disinfection guidelines,” the prime minister told a televised meeting of government officials.
Parks, libraries and schools could be reopened according to the evaluation of the authorities of the coronavirus cases.
Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe, has put up an effective fight against the novel coronavirus, earning a reputation of being one of the most successful countries in the world to contain the spread of the virus and keep the fatality rate low.
The German government eased lockdown restrictions to a marginal degree, by allowing a maximum two people to go out for physical exercise together within a certain distance.
Small businesses were reopened and asked to observe social distancing measures, limiting the number of customers entering the shop premises. Face masks are compulsory for all citizens in most states.
From Monday, Germany will re-open museums, churches and playgrounds. The reopening of schools and sporting events is the next step of the normalisation process which officials try to reach as soon as possible.
Italians have suffered the most of any European nation with more than 28,000 deaths from the disease and some 210,000 positive cases.
The Italian government partly eased restrictions on Monday after a two-month lockdown which was the longest in the world and catastrophic for its citizens.
Nearly 4.4 million Italians have returned to work since March. The daily death toll, which had fluctuated between 700 and 1,000 for a long time, had decreased to 174 on Sunday.
Companies reopened with social distance measures in place. Wearing a face mask is still compulsory for people in public spaces. Restaurants will work to offer takeaway and home delivery.
Spain is another of the most affected European countries, where more than 25,000 people died from the coronavirus and about 217,000 people contracted the infection.
The lockdown, one of the toughest in Europe, has halted public life since March 14, which has nearly paralysed its economy.
On Sunday, 167 people died from coronavirus which is the lowest daily number of the eight-week period.
On Monday, the Spanish government allowed some small businesses to open by appointment while restaurants will serve takeaway. For small Spanish islands, shops can serve with limited capacity.
After seven weeks, people could go out to exercise for the first time at the weekend.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a four-phase plan to lift the lockdown that would culminate in a return to normality by the end of June.
However, Sanchez will look to extend the state of emergency for two more weeks which is currently due to last until May 9.