In some European countries, the coronavirus pandemic slowly declines, which is why governments are starting to weaken quarantine measures. So, in Denmark and Norway they plan to resume schooling soon, and in the Czech Republic people will be allowed to leave the country if there is a serious reason.
But in the event of a new virus outbreak, restrictions may be reintroduced.
Weakening of quarantine in Europe
The first European countries to weaken quarantine measures are expected to be Denmark, the Czech Republic, Austria and Norway.
The Financial Times reports that the quick response of these countries to the emergence of coronavirus worked in their favor. In these states, schools were closed and mass gatherings of people were prohibited. Denmark and the Czech Republic - along with Poland and Slovakia - were the first countries in the EU to close their borders in response to a pandemic. As a result, there is a decrease in the rate of spread of coronavirus, and authorities say on a weakening of quarantine.
So, since April 7 the quarantine in the Czech Republic was weakened. In the country, people were allowed to engage in outdoor sports without masks, but the distance between people should be at least 2 m. Today shops for hobbies and needlework, selling household goods and bicycle repair will resume work, and after Easter they plan to open stores with shoes and office supplies. At the same time, owners must comply with the rules of hygiene of the room. And from April 14, Czechs will be allowed to leave the country if there is a good reason.
"Now we can cope relatively well with this pandemic. This is not the pandemic that drives us," Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech said at a press conference, adding that further relief of quarantine is possible depending on how the virus behaves.
Another country where quarantine measures are going to be weakened is Denmark, where schools and kindergartens will start operating on April 15.
"Over the past week, according to doctors, the situation has stabilized. Now the government wants to gradually restore the economy in order to avoid a protracted recession," the report said.
At the same time, the Danish authorities still recommend working at home and maintaining social distance whenever possible.
"The key condition is to avoid crowds and wash our hands. So we can maintain stability. It's like walking on a tightrope. If we stand, we fall, if we go too fast, the problem will become more complicated, so we must be careful," the prime minister of Denmark said.
In neighboring Norway, educational institutions will also be opened from the end of April, citizens will be able to travel to suburban cottages, but the government reminds that certain restrictions will continue for a long time.
In Austria, small shops and garden centers can resume work from April 14. In addition, in mid-May, the government plans to open cafes and restaurants for visitors. It is noted that Austrian schools should remain closed indefinitely. Government officials believe the most likely scenario is the closure of the education system before the start of the new school year in September. As for going abroad, Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz said that such an opportunity would not be considered until the receiving of the coronavirus vaccine.
What happens in Ukraine?
We will begin to consider a possible weakening of quarantine not earlier than May.
"If the dynamics of a decrease in the incidence rate is recorded, then only in May we will start talking about a possible weakening of quarantine measures. This will not be done exactly from April 14, as it was said in some fake news," said Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmygal.
He added that in case of positive dynamics in Ukraine, authorities will develop a plan for launching the economy. It will indicate at what time and in what place it will be possible to start going to work.
"In May, subject to positive dynamics, we will launch the economy of Ukraine according to a certain plan, which will be additionally announced by the government, clearly defined. And everyone will know their role, time and place, when he starts going to work, when he starts to work fully, which social standards of our life in May will be – wearing mask, social distances, delays in the time of the beginning and end of working hours, so as not to create rush hours,” the prime minister added.
On April 8, the Cabinet of Ministers included in the list of services and facilities that are allowed to work during quarantine, couriers, builders, scavengers, building materials dealers, and dry cleaners.
Keith Neal, professor of infectious diseases epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, expects European governments to gradually ease restrictions until vaccine development or immunity to coronavirus in society allows normal life to resume.
However, he warned that in the event of a new outbreak of the virus, it is possible to re-introduce restrictions and quarantine measures.