- As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, some countries are putting their citizens on various forms of lockdown, though that’s not a technical term used by public-health officials.
- Most countries, including Spain, Germany, and South Korea, have started relaxing lockdown measures. The results have been mixed.
- More than 965,742 people have died and over 31,365,633 have been infected by the coronavirus worldwide.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Countries around the world are implementing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, from national quarantines to school closures.
Several countries (like Spain, Iran, Italy, Denmark, Israel, and Germany) that previously imposed restrictions are beginning to lift lockdown measures. But results have been mixed.
While “lockdown” isn’t a technical term used by public-health officials, it can refer to anything from mandatory geographic quarantines to non-mandatory recommendations to stay at home, closures of certain types of businesses, or bans on events and gatherings, Lindsay Wiley, a health law professor at the Washington College of Law, told Vox.
Here are the countries and territories that have implemented mandatory mass quarantines so far â€” and how some of them are beginning to open up.
Restrictions have again been lifted in New Zealand.
The Associated Press reports that restrictions lifted everywhere but the city of Auckland on Monday.
On Wednesday, the number of people who can gather in Auckland will rise from 10 to 100, and restrictions will be completely lifted after two weeks.
In Germany, the state of Bavaria is enacting new restrictions, but the country likely won’t have to go back into a full lockdown.
The state of Bavaria announced new coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, per Reuters.
The measures, which will begin on Wednesday, include limiting gatherings and how many households can mingle, and a curfew on restaurants from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
However, as Yahoo News reports, a top virologist says the country will not necessarily need to go into a full lockdown again.
India reopened the Taj Mahal on Monday. Cases there trail only the US.
On Monday, schools reopened in some states, according to the Times of India. Many saw low attendance.
The Taj Mahal also reopened for the first time since March, per NPR. Previously, according to NPR, the monument used to see around 70,000 visitors daily, but fewer than 300 people had purchased tickets for the reopening day.
China implemented what was then the largest quarantine in human history to contain the coronavirus, locking down at least 16 cities at the end of January. The lockdown on Wuhan ended on April 8.
Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, went into a “wartime lockdown” on July 19, according to CNN, but a massive “testing blitz” helped bring the surge under control.
On May 11, the city of Wuhan ordered that all 11 million residents be tested for coronavirus after six new cases were reported, ending the city’s 35-day streak of no new infections. In two weeks, 6.5 million were tested.
At its peak, China’s quarantine spanned at least 20 provinces and regions, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Nightclubs are back open.
Brazil’s infection numbers have surpassed Spain and Italy, but Rio de Janeiro has reopened.
Brazil trails only the US and India in its number of infections and deaths.
Major city Rio de Janeiro has reopened as the country heads into its warmer months, according to Reuters, sparking fears that a hard-hit city will suffer more infections.
A group that represents over 1 million medical professionals has accused President Jair Bolsonaro of a crime against humanity and filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court, according to NPR.
Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the pandemic and even encouraged anti-lockdown protesters – and he has argued with governors who imposed stay-at-home orders. A federal judge ordered him to wear a face mask in public. He later tested positive for the coronavirus; two other government ministers have also tested positive, NPR reports.
As of Tuesday, Brazil had 4,558,040 infections and 137,272 deaths.
In Spain, some residents are speaking out against localised lockdowns in Madrid.
As cases in Spain – and particularly Madrid – increase, the city is implementing localised lockdowns, according to the BBC.
And residents have pushed back against being told to remain in their “zones,” with some arguing that it is a “class-based lockdown,” per the BBC.
The country has had more than 30,663 deaths and 671,468 cases as of Tuesday.
In South Korea, some schools reopened on Monday.
Schools in and near Seoul reopened for hybrid classes on Monday, according to Reuters. Restrictions in South Korea were tightened following an August outbreak, with schools moving to remote learning.
Per Reuters, the country will remain in what’s called phase two social distancing through September 27, and restrictions will become stricter on September 28 for Chuseok, a three-day holiday traditionally spent with family.
Iran has begun to reopen its major highways and stores, as well as mosques.
According to Yahoo News, an Iranian newspaper was reportedly shut down after quoting a former member of the country’s coronavirus task force saying that the actual number of cases and deaths could be 20 times higher than official reports.
As of Tuesday, the country had 429,193 infections and 24,656 deaths.
Italy introduced new measures in August for the first time since its lockdown ended, but seems to have held off a second wave.
On August 17, Italy put in place new restrictions for the first time since exiting lockdown, the Washington Post reports.
At least 300,897 people have been infected, and 35,738 have died from the coronavirus in Italy as of Tuesday.
The coronavirus alert level has risen in the UK, and pubs will now have a 10 p.m. curfew.
New restrictions were announced on Tuesday, according to the BBC. Among other measures, pubs, restaurants, and bars will have to close at 10 p.m. – and may only have table service.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized and spent three nights in intensive care for the coronavirus. He was discharged on April 12. “The NHS saved my life,” he said.
Lithuania is turning its capital into an open-air cafe.
Shops, open-air restaurants, and malls are allowed to reopen. The country’s capital, Vilnius, has been converted into an open-air cafe so that nearby restaurants can appropriately distance their tables, a measure that has been both praised and criticised by locals.
To ensure that social distancing is enforced for indoor dining, mannequins decked out in designer clothes have been placed at tables.
Hungary has reopened its schools, but closed its borders.
In-person classroom teaching resumed on September 1 – while the country closed its borders – according to The Guardian. Per The Associated Press, Orban has been formulating a “war plan” in preparation for a second wave as cases rise.
Singapore began a phased reopening.
Schools have reopened with a combination of in-person and virtual learning, and employees may return to work, although they are encouraged to work from home.
However, while the country has reopened for many, the BBC reports that many living in foreign worker dormitories remain quarantined.
Dubai has begun to slowly reopen.
In Dubai, gyms, movie theatres, childcare centres, and retailers can open with a limited capacity, CNBC reports. Malls and private businesses have reopened, as well as water parks. It reopened for international tourists on July 7.
Previously, it was forbidden to leave for exercise or even dog walks – and a police permit was required for every trip outdoors.
Panama and Peru both implemented measures restricting the days that citizens could be outside by gender, although both are now reopening.
In Panama, gendered restrictions on when citizens could leave the house were finally lifted on September 14, according to the Associated Press. A study of its gendered lockdown experiment found that women seemed to be more willing to comply with lockdown measures, The Telegraph reports.
In Peru, police blockaded a highway and launched tear gas into crowds attempting to flee Lima during the lockdown, the Guardian reported. Despite an intense – and early – lockdown, NPR reports that the country has been particularly hard hit.
Thailand has reopened schools, restaurants, and bars.
Thailand reopened schools, bars, and restaurants on July 1, according to the Straits Times. Pubs, massage parlors, and concerts had already reopened. According to VICE, the country may not reopen for international tourism until 2021.
Russia eased restrictions and partially reopened borders, and is the first country to approve a vaccine.
Schools reopened on September 1, according to the Moscow Times. Cases there have been increasing.
Russia is the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine. The US reportedly declined offers from the country to help produce a vaccine due to lack of trust.
Russia previously closed its borders and cancelled any international flights except for those bringing Russians home,CNN International reported.
South Africa has eased restrictions.
The country moved to the lowest level of virus alert on September 21, according to Bloomberg. A curfew has been shortened, and some venues will be allowed to open at half capacity.
The country had originally gradually eased measures in June, but then reinstated them as cases rose.
According to Travel and Leisure, the country will also reopen its borders for tourism on October 1, although it’s unclear what countries will make the list.
Saudi Arabia has eased restrictions on mosques.
Mosques have reopened for socially distanced worship, and curfews across the country eased on May 31 – except in Mecca. All curfews have been lifted, and all economic and commercial activities are allowed to resume. Some US diplomats reportedly left after a surge in cases.
Some international flights were allowed to resume on September 15, according to the Guardian.
Colombia has reopened for tourism.
In Australia, strict lockdowns in Victoria and Melbourne seem to be making an impact.
Strict new lockdowns in Victoria and Melbourne seem to have helped curbed the spread of the virus, according to CNN. Measures in Melbourne may ease if cases remain low.
Jordan has reinstated some measures following a rise in cases.
Reopening measures were walked back in Jordan following a rise in cases, according to Reuters. Schools, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants have all been closed for at least two weeks.
Argentina went into a “preventative and compulsory” lockdown on March 21. It will remain in lockdown through October 11.
Reuters reports that the government announced its first stage of easing restrictions on July 17, although cases continued to increase. A lockdown will continue through at least October 11, according to the Buenos Aires Times.
Israel is back in a full lockdown.
Israel is back in a full lockdown as of Friday, according to the Associated Press. Measures will remain in place for at least the next three weeks.
In Belgium, schools are open.
Schools in Belgium have reopened, according to PBS, although cases there have risen. As of September 25, the country will no longer ban residents from travelling to red zone destinations in the EU, according to the Brussel Times.
Malaysia reopened almost all economic activity starting June 10.
On June 10, restrictions on educational, social, and recreational activities eased, the Jakarta Post reports. Schools began to reopen in stages starting June 24. The border with Singapore has reopened.
The majority of businesses in the country could already reopen,Al Jazeera reports. Cafes and restaurants must practice social distancing and record those who eat there.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, over 21,000 violators have been arrested since the lockdown began.
The Czech Republic has seen a rise in cases.
On June 5, borders with Germany, Austria, and Hungary reopened.
France reopened bars, restaurants, and cafes.
Following a rise in cases, masks are now required in many public places and workplaces, according to the BBC.
Following a rise in cases, mask wearing has become mandatory in more areas of the country, according to The New York Times.
On June 2, restaurants, bars, and cafes reopened for outdoor dining, as well as parks and gardens, Euronews reports. Secondary schools and high schools can also reopen, and nursery schools, primary schools, and junior high schools reopened with mandatory attendance on June 22.
Morocco will be a in a “medical state of emergency” through October 10.
Following an ease in restrictions and a rise in cases, the country stopped allowing people to enter and exit several major cities at the end of July, Reuters reports.
The government has arrested at least a dozen people for spreading false coronavirus news, according to US News & World Report.
Schools in Kenya may reopen in October.
Schools do not have a clear reopening date, as some have to be fumigated following usage as COVID treatment facilities, according to Kenya Broadcasting Company.
However, they could reopen as soon as October 4.
“I want to assure you that my administration is at the forefront of managing this pandemic,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said, according to Al Jazeera.
The Washington Post reports that Kenyan police have killed at least 12 people enforcing a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Poland has mostly reopened, although some restrictions have been imposed following a spike in cases.
Hotels, outdoor sports venues, and shopping centres are allowed to reopen, according to the Irish Times. Libraries, art galleries, and museums will also reopen on a “partial basis,” and preschools can reopen.
However, as cases rise, cinemas, gyms, sporting events, and concerts have been banned in some counties, according to Reuters.
Per Reuters, the country is also still moving forward with school reopenings, even as cases rise.
In Kuwait, teachers are back to work.
Teachers have returned to work in Kuwait, although the first semester – which begins October 4 – will be conducted virtually, according to Gulf News.
The country banned all commercial flights, and prohibited citizens from going to restaurants and gyms, The New York Times reported.
In Ireland, Dublin is under lockdown.
According to the Irish Post, Dublin will be under lockdown for the next three weeks, although libraries and schools can stay open with restrictions.
Norway has significantly eased restrictions.
Universities have reopened, although they could return to online teaching if cases continue to increase, according to Reuters.
Schools there reopened in April, according to Time.
El Salvador began to reopen its economy on June 16.
Voice of America News report that businesses in El Salvador are now allowed to open without restrictions.
President Nayib Bukele’s initial reopening plan was declared unconstitutional by the country’s Supreme Court, according to US News & World Report.
Citizens have been under a strict curfew – only one person from each family was allowed to leave to procure essential goods.
Those who did not comply with quarantine orders could be sent to contingency centres, where they would be required to quarantine for 30 days.
Denmark was the first European country to reopen primary schools.
Denmark was the first European country to reopen primary schools; stores, hairdressers, restaurants, theme parks, and museums are also open.
However, following a surge in cases, masks will now be mandatory on public transportation, according to Reuters. On September 19, more restrictions were put in place, according to VOA News. Gatherings are limited, and restaurants have to close earlier.
Sweden has drawn attention for its “low-scale” lockdown, with businesses and schools still open. It’s unclear how effective the plan has been.
The country is notable for its “low-scale” lockdown.
But the country did seem to be bringing the virus under control,Bloomberg reports.
“I’m not convinced at all,” state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. On “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” he said that the “death toll really came as a surprise to us.” Scientists in the country have also spoken out against the approach; testing in the country has lagged, and a commission has been formed to evaluate its response. AUniversity of Virginia analysis found that the choice not to lock down led to more deaths.
Many countries have also closed borders to prevent international travellers from spreading the virus.
These countries include:
- Canada’s borders won’t reopen for Americans until at least September 21. Some provinces are increasing restrictions.
- Latvia reopened its borders with Lithuania and Estonia on May 15, and its state of emergency ended on June 9. It has reopened for tourism.
- The Maldives reopened to tourists on July 15.
- North Korea has shut down airline flights and train service with neighbouring countries, and established quarantines for recent travellers. It lifted a lockdown on a city bordering South Korea.
- Qatar stopped all incoming flights to the country and shut down shops in main commercial areas. It entered its first phase of reopening on June 15, and restaurants, parks, and mosques could partially reopen on July 1. Borders began to reopen on August 1.
- Slovakia closed its borders to non-residents on March 15, and banned public events. Businesses have started to reopen, and the country lifted restrictions. It has seen a surge in cases.
- Ukraine closed its borders for foreign citizens on March 17, after the first death from the virus within the country. A national lockdown could remain in place through November.
- Croatia has reopened hotels and campsites, and also opened for tourists.
- In Portugal, hair salons, repair shops, dry cleaners, and other businesses have reopened. New restrictions were put into place on September 15.
Katie Warren, Holly Secon, and Sarah Al-Arshani contributed reporting.
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