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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 7th May 2020

News Highlights

Countries around the world are opening up slowly but worries still abound. Greece's economy is heavily dependent on tourism, which looks unlikely to pick up in the near future. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is leaving it to individual states to decide on how they plan to reopen their economies. At the same time, German officials are assuring citizens that they can still consider holidaying abroad over the summer, though details may still need to be finalised. Bundesliga football could soon resume, but with some restrictions, and up to two households will be able to meet and eat together.

The UK is considering lifting the lockdown from Monday, with details set to be outlined over the weekend, but the Prime Minister cautioned against any haste, lest there be a second wave of coronavirus cases.

Interestingly, Australian businesses are rethinking ways of working, dispensing with ideas like the shared office cookie jars and hot desking, and looking to cubicles and partitions from the past, symbolically some might say, as the entire world moves towards 'Post-Covid19' workspaces.

Lockdown Exit
Tracking the lockdown: what is opening up around the world
National and local authorities around the world are beginning to wind down restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, gradually lifting the lockdowns that have stunted economies,
Jersey expected to ease lockdown restrictions even further next week
Jersey’s Chief Minister has said the island will likely move into Level three of lockdown next week. Level three has previously been described as a ‘soft lockdown’ with the stay at home order being lifted. Whilst there will be no limit to time spent out of the house, people will be asked to stay and work from home wherever possible. Currently Jersey remains at Level four, where islanders are limited to four hours outside and can meet with two people that do not live in your household so long as you socially distance.
'This Is Freedom?': Post-Lockdown Italy Not How We Imagined
As lockdown begins to ease, there should be feelings of relief and hope, but the start of Phase 2 in Italy has been tainted by uncertainty and fear. The vague wording of the government’s rules and the continued need for a self-certification form justifying the motive for leaving the house means many Italians are still feeling anxiety about going outside. Those who have been permitted to restart work and reopen businesses have been overwhelmed by stringent safety measures that must be adhered to. Some bookshops, that had been allowed to reopen on April 14, chose to keep the shutters down as sanitizing books and maintaining distancing seemed unfeasible as well as expensive.
How has Italy reacted to a cautious easing of lockdown?
In the economically disadvantaged south of the country, remaining closed for another month will result in the failure of many commercial activities and will aggravate the economic and social emergency that is brewing. Over the next few weeks, the government will have to find solutions that will keep at bay a second, possibly deadlier wave of coronavirus cases as well as avoiding economic collapse.
How are Spanish pubs and bars trading during coronavirus lockdown?
While the coronavirus pandemic has caused significant headaches for countless businesses across the world, in some ways it has brought sectors closer together. With everyone facing the same challenges, now is the time to learn the challenges other operators in other countries have encountered and how they have overcome those hurdles.
What to Expect When Lockdown Lifts, According to People in Norway, Germany and Italy
Now that the UK had passed the peak of the pandemic, speculation as to how the government will ease the lockdown has begun. Boris Johnson was originally set to review lockdown guidelines this Thursday, but the review has now been postponed until Sunday – a likely sign that the government is in no rush to get everything back to normal. Indeed, a report released this week from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) outlines the many considerations for easing a lockdown, including the potential economic, psychological and social costs and benefits.
Greeks' relief as coronavirus lockdown eased but fears over impact on vital tourism industry loom
Greece's fate lies instead in the hands of the millions of tourists from the US, UK and other European countries; tourism accounts for 20% of the Greek economy and one in four jobs, according to the country’s national statisticians. Greeks desperately want tourists to return, but at the same time they are worried that they will bring the virus with them. The two most important countries for Greek tourism, Germany and the UK, are both facing severe Covid-19 challenges. Germany saw a rise in cases after it begun lifting restrictions; the UK is now the worst-hit country in Europe. Such is the seriousness of the situation that Dr Tsiodras has mentioned the UK specifically almost every evening during the last few daily briefings. “It’s a paradox when it comes to pandemics and it is related to the [issue of] timely adoption of measures,” the Harvard educated professor told Greeks while trying to explain why fatalities in the UK have surpassed those of tragically-hit Italy.
Coronavirus: Germany opens up again as Merkel hands over to states
Germany will radically loosen its lockdown measures as chancellor Angela Merkel yields to pressure from the leaders of the country’s 16 states to make their own plans for opening up. The draft agreement for the meeting on Wednesday between the chancellor and the state premiers says that schools and shops can all reopen, but under strict new hygiene guidelines, including the 1.5-meter social distancing rules. States can also decide for themselves when they open restaurants, pubs, clubs and gyms, but big events like festivals are banned until 31 August. Already last week, churches, zoos, museums, and playgrounds were given the green light.
Germany clamping down on golf clubs failing to follow safety rules
As golf courses start to reopen across Europe, the consequences of failing to follow strict guidelines aimed at delivering "safe golf" during the ongoing coronavirus have been highlighted in Germany.
Coronavirus: Germany reopens shops as lockdown is relaxed
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany's goal of slowing the spread of coronavirus has been achieved, so all shops can be reopened as lockdown restrictions are eased. Bundesliga football has been given the green light to resume and schools will gradually reopen in the summer term. Germany's 16 federal states, under an agreement with the government, will take control of timing the reopening. They will operate an "emergency brake" if there is a new surge in infections. General contact rules involving will continue for another month. A limited resumption has already begun, but this easing of restrictions is far broader. Two households will be able to meet and eat together, and elderly people in nursing homes and facilities for the disabled will be able to have visits from one specific person.
Coronavirus: Germany reopens museums, galleries and gardens to the public
Germany has begun relaxing the lockdown measures put in place to control the spread of coronavirus, as officials say the infection rate has been declining for “at least four weeks in a row”. Museums, galleries and gardens, as well as many shops, were allowed to reopen this week. Individual states will decide about gradually opening universities, bars, trade fairs, theatres, cinemas, and more under certain hygiene and distancing rules. A draft document prepared by federal chancellery chief Helge Braun, seen by Reuters, also said amateur open-air sports could restart and schools should gradually reopen from 11 May.
Coronavirus: Summer holidays abroad possible, German official says
Germans may be able to have summer holidays abroad, the country's tourism chief said, as European nations look at how to handle the summer break. Federal tourism commissioner Thomas Bareiss told Der Tagesspiegel newspaper that if the outbreak stayed under control, people might be able to take vacations abroad soon. Germany was in talks with other nations about summer holidays, he said. European governments are mulling how to handle the upcoming vacation period. More than 100,000 people are confirmed to have died amid the coronavirus pandemic in Europe.
France’s Covid-19 epidemic continues to decline as end of lockdown approaches
The numbers of patients in hospital and in intensive care continued to decline. Patients in hospital have declined for three weeks, for a total of 24,775, down from a peak at 32,292 on 14 April. The number of patients in intensive care has dropped below half of what it was at the peak of the epidemic, now standing at 3,430, down from 7,148 on 8 April. Confinement measures imposed as of 17 March were to begin easing on 11 May, with officials warning lockdown has to be lifted gradually in order to ward off a second wave of the epidemic.
Coronavirus lockdown plunges French services into record slump - PMI
IHS Markit’s overall PMI index, which includes services and already published data from the manufacturing sector, fell to 11.1 from 28.9 in March, marginally worse than the 11.2 originally reported. The lockdown, in place since mid-March, is due to be lifted from next Monday, but some restrictions will remain in place, leaving little prospect for a quick recovery for most firms. “Any return to long-term growth rates might be gradual, with consumers taking time to overcome hesitancy surrounding public health before they resume their previous spending habits,” IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr said.
How Slovakia Flattened the Coronavirus Curve With a Model Lockdown
Why isn’t Slovakia overrun by the coronavirus? Experts that I spoke to credit three main factors. The most important was the government’s quick decision to institute a national lockdown effective March 16, 10 days after the country confirmed its first coronavirus case. The lockdown included the closure of all schools, restaurants, bars, and shops except for grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks—as well as a ban on all public events and gatherings. The lockdown measures have only worked because of the second factor: an immediate and universal compliance by the Slovak population.
Britain’s Johnson Says Lockdown Announcement to Come Sunday
Boris Johnson assured members of the House of Commons they would be fully informed and would be given opportunity to question him or members of the government about any decisions. He said it would be “an economic disaster” for Britain if restrictions were lifted in such a way as to trigger “a second spike” in COVID-19 infections. Johnson said the government would work with the government in Scotland, the opposition, unions and business "to make sure we get the un-lockdown plan completely right."
Coronavirus latest: Germany can be bold easing restrictions, Merkel says
Poland will postpone Sunday's presidential election, the country's governing parties announced on Wednesday. A new date for the election will be announced "as soon as possible," ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and coalition partner leader Jaroslaw Gowin said in a statement. "Having in mind Poles' safety, due to the epidemic, the elections will be held by postal vote," they said.
Covid 19 coronavirus: How Australia's businesses are preparing to leave their lockdown
No more shared cookie jars, fewer meetings, staggered start times and temperature checks before you leave the house – Aussies may be heading back to work, but the office will never be the same. On the plus side, hot-desking will likely be a thing of the past as the world makes the transition to "post-Covid workplaces", where hygiene, safety, social distancing and regular cleaning will take the driver's seat after decades of cost-cutting measures. And millennials who entered the workforce in the "open plan" era may soon be getting their first taste of the cubicle.
U.S. States Roll Back Restrictions as Lockdowns Ease Across Asia
Swathes of the country remained under lockdown, and tensions escalated in some places over the restrictive policies that are designed to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Public-health officials have cautioned that lifting restrictions too hastily could lead to a surge in new cases. Before states reopen, they say, the number of new cases should fall under a certain threshold and state leaders should have a robust testing capacity in place and develop contact-tracing teams. Guidelines from the Trump administration recommend governors take steps toward reopening after they see a decline in documented cases or positive tests over a two-week period.
Exit Strategies
Contact tracing: An army of 18,000 sleuths and call-handlers could help Britain emerge from coronavirus lockdown
“Where were you on the evening of Friday May 1st?” It is the sort of question one might expect to hear from a hard-boiled detective or a prosecutor in a courtroom drama. It is also the kind of question that Britons will have to get used to answering if daily life is to return to anything resembling normal. Much of the focus of the government’s “test, track and trace” strategy to reopen Britain and prevent a second lockdown has been on testing and on an app being developed by NHSX, the digital-innovation arm of the health service.
The current UK lockdown rules for over-70s explained amid talk they may be kept inside for longer
How people over the age of 70 will have to live once lockdown is lifted has been a big topic of conversation during the coronavirus crisis. Under current Government rules, over-70s have to abide by the same social distancing measures as the rest of the UK population. The majority of people in this age bracket can still go out for exercise, do essential shopping and pick up medicine. However, they have to be more careful than everyone else. Campaigners fear that when lockdown is relaxed, older people might be kept under the rules for longer than younger people for their own safety. That proposal - which has been rumoured but is not in any way confirmed by the Government - has sparked a backlash among doctors' leaders and campaigners, the Mirror reports. Here are the current rules explained, and what might or might not happen in the future.
Coronavirus: Australia is in the feared third quarter of lockdown
Experts say that in this time we’ve been subject to three psychological phases. The first was one of panic and confusion, when we were crying out for a sense of control and easily embraced restrictions. Then came the honeymoon phase when lockdown was almost a novelty. There was no more battling morning traffic, you could stay in your pyjamas all day, some started baking sourdough and others reconnected with nature. Now we’re in the eerie ‘Third Quarter,’ which has been identified in those stuck in space or submarines. Typically, isolated individuals become more irritable, you might feel sad or lonely, start drinking more alcohol and struggle to get to sleep. “There’s a sense of being trapped, there’s not a lot of new stimulation going on,” Clinical Psychologist Kimberley Norris told Sunrise.
UK to begin lifting lockdown from Monday
Lockdown measures in the UK could start to be lifted from Monday, with details set to be outlined at the weekend. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also announced a new target of 200,000 coronavirus tests a day - a target he hopes will be met by the end of May.
Australia's biggest states retain lockdown measures on Mother's Day
Australia’s two most populous states on Thursday refused to allow a one-day reprieve from strict limits on personal movement for Mother’s Day this weekend, even as the country’s rate of new coronavirus cases remains low.
UK draws up three-stage plan for easing coronavirus lockdown
The first phase of relaxation will involve outdoor workplaces and small shops reopening, the second will involve large shopping centres reopening and more people being encouraged to return to work, the report said. Pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure centres will be among the last businesses to reopen, the Times said. The UK lockdown was announced by Johnson in a televised speech on 23 March with tough restrictions on movement introduced the next day. Three weeks later on 16 April, Dominic Raab – standing in for the coronavirus-stricken Prime Minister – said lockdown would persist for at least another three weeks as the UK was not past the peak of the disease.
When will the UK lockdown end? The four potential exit strategies
During a Downing Street press conference on 16 April, Dominic Raab, deputising for Boris Johnson, said that the lockdown measures will remain in place for at least three more weeks, or up until May 7th. He also set out five tests that must be met before the government would consider lifting measures.
Rural parts of UK could come out of lockdown before cities
Rural parts of the UK which have seen far fewer cases of coronavirus could come out of lockdown ahead of the rest of the UK, England’s chief scientific adviser has said. Places like Devon, Cornwall and Somerset as well as other rural locations could see restrictions eased ahead of places such as London and Birmingham. Each nation in the UK will make its own decisions about easing lockdown rules. Sir Patrick Vallance said that while the R number – the number of other people infected by each person with coronavirus – is below one across the country, prevalence of infection will be different depending on region.
End of lockdown: When is it, how will it happen and is the pandemic over?
The Prime Minister has said we are now past the peak of the pandemic, and hinted that lockdown measures could be lifted soon. He said the "dates and times" of each measure being lifted would come when the Government had more data, but the UK is heading towards "phase two" of its coronavirus response, which will involve partially lifting lockdown. Here, we analyse when the lockdown could end and what the "new normal" might look like.
Coronavirus: How might lockdown end and what will be the 'new normal'?
High Street fashion chains and others closed during lockdown are waiting to hear how they might reopen. Changing rooms could be closed and customers encouraged to shop alone, the British Retail Consortium suggests. Next says it will prioritise reopening larger, out-of-town outlets, where social distancing is easier. Some DIY stores, meanwhile, have already reopened - but they are accepting card payments only and have shorter trading hours. And B&Q has banned under-16s. But several retailers will be missing from the High Street altogether, the chairman of key-cutting company Timpson has warned.
Boris Johnson says lockdown easing due to start on Monday
The prime minister said on Wednesday he would set out his strategy for the “second phase” of the UK’s fight against coronavirus in a televised address on Sunday, adding the government would “get going” with some measures to revise the shutdown on Monday. The initial relaxation of the lockdown is expected to be limited, such as allowing unlimited exercise and sunbathing in parks, while allowing some businesses to ramp up operations where social distancing can be observed, such as on construction sites. The first wave of tweaks will cover the toughening up of other measures, such as the wearing of face masks on public transport and tougher checks at border.
Coronavirus: How social 'bubbles' could work when UK lockdown is eased
Britons could be allowed to reunite with loved ones using "bubble" arrangements under proposals to ease the lockdown. Ministers are looking at ways of letting people meet up with friends and family when lockdown restrictions are eventually eased. Under the arrangements, people will be able choose a small number of friends and family to mix with, outdoors for the time being, and will be under strict orders not to mix with anybody else. People could also be allowed to leave their homes more often and for longer periods of time. The proposals are being considered by the government to introduce a "new normal" to the way Britain operates socially.
When will gyms open in the UK? If fitness centres could be among the first to reopen when lockdown is eased
n Italy, the country has entered into phase two of its exit out of lockdown. Italians will now be able to travel within regions in order to visit relatives, provided that they wear masks. However, schools, hairdressers, gyms and a variety of other commercial activities will stay closed. Cafes and restaurants will offer takeaways only. In the Czech Republic, gyms and fitness centres will be open to the public next week, but the showers and dressing rooms will be off limits.
Spain to avert political crisis, extend virus lockdown
To compensate losing the backing of the conservative Popular Party and angering Catalonia’s separatists, Sánchez’s Socialists struck last-minute deals with the center-right Citizens party and Basque regionalists to guarantee the parliamentary endorsement. That gave the government 178 votes in favor to 75 votes against, with 97 abstentions. The state of emergency was set to expire on Saturday. The extension will take it through May 24. The government argued the extension is critical to apply its complex rollback plan for the lockdown, which will vary by province as they prepare for a possible second wave.
Spain’s holiday islands Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca waiting to move into lockdown de-escalation phase one
The regional minister said it is “essential” to have well-defined controls at ports and airports to allow all the Balearic Islands to move forward through the different stages of the de-escalation. She stressed the island government wants to see checks at travellers’ place of departure and destination, and said Formentera’s experience this week, with checks on arriving ferry passengers’ temperatures, health questionnaires and antibody tests, will make it possible “to see exactly what the situation is.” Gomez expressed confidence her department has planned resources well “to be able to deal with the situation,” both in terms of hospitals and medicalised hotels on all the islands except Formentera. “We can practically duplicate the capacity we have in criteria and hospital beds in approximately a day,” she maintained.
Scotland lockdown exit plan: what Nicola Sturgeon has said about easing restrictions and when it could happen
The First Minister has said that lockdown measures will be lifted "when we judge it is safe to make them, which I am afraid is not right now"
France's Macron throws lockdown lifeline to culture sector
French president Emmanuel Macron promised guaranteed stipends for out-of-work actors and money for filmmakers whose productions have been cancelled, as part of a bailout for an arts industry shut down by the coronavirus.
France’s Covid-19 epidemic continues to decline as end of lockdown approaches
The number of patients in intensive care has dropped below half of what it was at the peak of the epidemic, now standing at 3,430, down from 7,148 on 8 April. Confinement measures imposed as of 17 March were to begin easing on 11 May, with officials warning lockdown has to be lifted gradually in order to ward off a second wave of the epidemic.
When will tennis courts reopen after lockdown, and is it safe to play?
It seems plausible that the prime minister’s upcoming speech on Sunday night could herald a relaxation of restrictions. France is permitting outdoor recreational tennis from next Monday while most other European countries have already moved to this position. Ireland is working towards the reopening of outdoor tennis clubs and public parks from May 18.
Paris Metro Prepares for Lockdown Easing With Police and Cleaners
The Paris public transport system will deploy as many as 2,000 police officers to enforce rules on social distancing and the wearing of masks when France starts to ease lockdown measures on May 11. The operator of metros, buses and commuter trains in the French capital, known as the RATP, has also increased its cleaning budget by at least 70% and is testing methods like anti-viral sprays in buses, according to Chief Executive Officer Catherine Guillouard.
France prepares plan to re-impose lockdown if coronavirus cases spike
France is less than a week away from beginning to lift its strict, nationwide lockdown on May 11th. The government has stressed repeatedly that this easing of restrictions will depend on the development of the epidemic curve, and has not excluded postponing the whole process to a later date if necessary. “If, as we approach May 11th, the number of daily new cases is not what we predicted, we will pay the consequences," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said as he presented the government's plan to lift the lockdown last week.
Here’s How Boris Johnson Is Planning to Lift the U.K.’s Lockdown
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the key to keeping the infection rate down lies in tracking the spread of the virus and isolating people who have it as well as those who have been in contact with them. The U.K. has stepped up testing and wants to recruit 18,000 contact tracers. The mobile phone app that will keep a record of people the owner has been in contact with won’t be ready until mid-May.
Can Australia's coronavirus contact tracing app COVIDSafe lift the country out of lockdown?
To speed up the process of contacting people who may have been exposed to coronavirus, the Federal Government is asking Australians to download its new COVIDSafe app. The more people use the app, the message goes, the faster we can slow the spread of the virus and the sooner we can lift restrictions and return to the pub. "The first job of the COVIDSafe app is to keep you safe," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Coronavirus Australia: Fears of infection as lockdown begins to lift
Two out of five Australians believe it’s likely they will be infected with COVID-19 over the next six months, as the nation struggles with the virus pandemic. In a landmark study, the Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods collected data from 3,155 Australians in January and February and again in April. Two-thirds of Australians reported they felt anxious or worried for the safety of themselves, their family members or friends to the the coronavirus.
Tony Blair think tank outlines 'roadmap' out of coronavirus lockdown for the government | Latest Brexit news and top stories
In its latest coronavirus case study, the Tony Blair Institute outlined recommendations for pulling the country out of hibernation. They include setting out the levels of easing they will use and what they will mean for people and business, and building on the current five tests with “triggers, hard metrics and thresholds” to move between levels. They also urge explaining how expanded containment measures can reduce the risk at each level and tailoring communications to enlist the support of individuals and businesses. The report also suggested the government follow steps taken by New Zealand and Australia where leaders have been able to sketch out a detailed guide to leaving a lockdown. They argued that clear messaging would assist companies to prepare for a new operation environment.
When will UK lockdown end? Date restrictions will be reviewed as UK passes peak of infections
On Sunday (10 May), the Prime Minister will address the nation to outline a “road map” of how current restrictions will be gradually lifted as part of the ‘second phase’ of the coronavirus response.
Partisan Exits
UK could start easing virus lockdown next week - Johnson
A Reuters investigation found policies designed to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed pushed a greater burden onto care homes which struggled to get access to tests and protective equipment. Asked by a member of the public during a question session on Sky News whether the government had sacrificed the elderly in residential homes to ensure the health service was not overrun, Mr Hancock said: "No we didn't do this ... we have, from the start, worked very hard to protect people in care homes."
Boris Johnson Hints UK Could Begin Easing Lockdown As Soon As Monday
Boris Johnson has said the government could begin to ease the UK’s coronavirus lockdown from Monday. Speaking during prime minister’s questions in the Commons, the PM said he planned to give a statement on Sunday setting out plans for the next day. He did not specify which measures might be dropped or amended first as ministers were “continuously” receiving data from health and science experts. "We will want, if we possibly can, to get going with some of those measures on Monday,” he said, in a reply to Labour leader Keir Starmer. “I think it would be a good thing [...] if people had an idea of what’s coming the following day. That’s why I think Sunday, the weekend, is the best time to do it.”
Coronavirus: Robin Swann says lockdown debate getting ahead of itself
The debate about easing Northern Ireland's pandemic lockdown restrictions is "getting ahead of itself", the health minister has said. A further 17 Covid-19 related deaths in NI were reported by Robin Swann's department, bringing its total to 404. The executive is holding talks about whether to relax any measures to curb the spread of the virus. "Call it my May Day alert," said Mr Swann, as he urged people to stay at home this bank holiday weekend. Northern Ireland's Executive must review whether to amend the coronavirus regulations by Saturday, but some ministers have already said any changes need to be gradual. Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill wants the Executive to publish its plans for emerging from restrictions on Thursday.
Birx warns against gatherings as US reopens from lockdowns
Dr Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus taskforce, has warned against US citizens gathering in public spaces again as the number of COVID-19 infections topped 1.1 million in the country and the death toll rose to more than 67,000 on Sunday. Birx said massing on beaches was not safe unless people kept at least two metres (six feet) apart, and weighed in against allowing such businesses as beauty salons and spas to reopen in the first phase.
Continued Lockdown
Lockdown continues: Australia's biggest state will NOT relax rules
New South Wales will not relax any coronavirus restrictions until next week but Queensland will allow five household members to visit another family in a home from Sunday. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said no restrictions will be relaxed in his state - and told reporters that he will not be visiting his own mother on Mothers' Day. On Friday the national cabinet will set out a three-step framework to ease the rules - but state and territory leaders will be able to choose when they implement the changes. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said rules in Australia's biggest state by population will not be changing until after the weekend.
Coronavirus lockdown batters German services in April - PMI
Phil Smith, principal economist at IHS Markit, said the plunge in services business activity accelerated in April and that the rate of contraction was much worse than seen during the depths of the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. "However, though manufacturing also suffered a record drop in output in April, the PMI surveys confirm that the decline in Germany's economy has been less severe than in France, Italy and Spain, where lockdowns have been more strict," Smith added. Germany took a further step on the long road back to post-coronavirus normality on Monday, with museums and hairdressers reopening under strict conditions, churches opening their doors for worshippers and more car factories resuming work. But more than a month after all but essential social and commercial life was suspended to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the country's politicians are at odds over how far and how fast to move. Despite first steps to ease restrictions, there is still a lot of uncertainty among businesses about the timing of further relaxation of measures and the health of demand going forward, Smith noted.
Coronavirus lockdown: India jobless numbers cross 120 million in April
Scenes of desperate migrant workers, particularly daily-wage earners, fleeing cities on foot to return to their villages, filled TV screens and newspapers for most of April. Their informal jobs, which employ 90% of the population, were the first to be hit as construction stopped, and cities suspended public transport. But protracted curfews and the continued closure of businesses - and the uncertainty of when the lockdown will end - hasn’t spared formal, permanent jobs either. Large companies across various sectors - media, aviation, retail, hospitality, automobiles - have announced massive layoffs in recent weeks. And experts predict that many small and medium businesses are likely to shut shop altogether.
The head of Sweden's no-lockdown coronavirus plan said the country's heavy death toll 'came as a surprise'
The head of Sweden's coronavirus response said in a new interview that the country's high death toll had "come as a surprise" and was "really something we worry a lot about." The state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told "The Daily Show" that the Swedish strategy had still been successful in many ways. But he said the no-lockdown strategy was not a conscious decision in favor of more deaths — instead he said the outsize toll was not part of the plan. About half of Sweden's deaths have been in nursing homes, which prohibit visitors. Tegnell said health officials had thought it would be easier to keep the disease away from them.
As Coronavirus Lockdown Eases, Cypriots Still in Limbo
Birinci is one of thousands of Cypriots caught in limbo since the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government and the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north both imposed stringent lockdowns but without consulting each other. "I think what has been lacking since the beginning is cooperation between the two sides," said Hakan Karahasan, another Turkish Cypriot badly affected by the lockdown.
Australia's coronavirus lockdown to cost $4bn a week in reduced economic activity – treasurer
The treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the current restrictions Australian governments have adopted to stop the spread of coronavirus – restrictions likely to taper down from this Friday – are resulting in a reduction in economic activity worth $4bn per week. Frydenberg will use a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday to warn the economic shock associated with Covid-19 will be both profound and prolonged, with Treasury estimating a 10 to 12% fall in gross domestic product during the June quarter alone.
Scientific Viewpoint
WHO warns of new lockdowns if transition not managed carefully
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus listed a series of steps needed before countries lift measures designed to control the spread of the Covid-19 respiratory disease
6 criteria for relaxing #COVID19 measures recommended by @WHO
6 criteria for relaxing #COVID19 measures recommended by @WHO 1. Strong surveillance system 2. Health system has necessary capacities 3. Minimized outbreak risks 4. Preventive measures in place 5. Importation risks are manageable 6. Communities are educated, engaged & empowered
Doctor Who Treated First COVID-19 Patient in U.S. Worries About Second Wave As Lockdown Is Lifted
The doctor who treated the first COVID-19 patient in the United States has expressed his concern that a second wave of the disease could emerge as lockdown measures are gradually eased. George Díaz, infectious diseases chief at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, told journalists on Monday in a video briefing: "What worries me is that when the economy starts to reopen, we are going to see a second outbreak that is perhaps as big as the first, and the first one was very difficult for us and for the whole world. "And more than anything, I am concerned that I don't know if we are going to have the resources to handle a second outbreak," he said, AFP reported.
Structural Basis for Potent Neutralization of Betacoronaviruses by Single-Domain Camelid Antibodies
VHHs isolated from a llama immunized with prefusion-stabilized coronavirus spikes. Structural characterization of VHHs reveals conserved mechanism of neutralization. SARS-CoV-1 S-directed VHH cross-reacts with SARS-CoV-2 S. Bivalent VHH neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses.
New Lockdown
`If this thing boomerangs': Second wave of infections feared
As Europe and the U.S. loosen their lockdowns against the coronavirus, health experts are expressing growing dread over what they say is an all-but-certain second wave of deaths and infections that could force governments to clamp back down. “We’re risking a backslide that will be intolerable,” said Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity. Elsewhere around the world, German authorities began drawing up plans in case of a resurgence of the virus. Experts in Italy urged intensified efforts to identify new victims and trace their contacts. And France, which hasn’t yet eased its lockdown, has already worked up a “reconfinement plan” in the event of a new wave.