Austria, Italy, Spain reopen shops as Europe eases coronavirus lockdown
London, April 15, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Thousands of shops have reopened in Austria, as it seeks to ease restrictions brought in to stem the spread of the coronavirus. BBC reports
Garden centres, DIY stores and small shops can open but with strict rules on social distancing.
In Italy, where over 20,000 people have died in the pandemic, a limited number of shops and businesses have been allowed to reopen.
But some of the worst-hit regions have decided to hold off.
Lombardy and other regions in the north will maintain their measures for longer.
Spain allowed some employees to return to work in factories, offices and on construction sites on Monday, as restrictions were eased in non-essential industries amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Sectors deemed “non-essential” were put into temporary “hibernation” on March 30 as confinement measures were tightened.
After five weeks under lockdown, shops selling books, stationery and clothes for babies and young children can reopen their doors but with strict rules on customer numbers and hygiene.
Meanwhile, Denmark has said it intends to ease its lockdown faster than originally planned.
The European Commission has urged EU countries to co-ordinate with each other to relax measures gradually.
Fears of a deadly resurgence
An internal document sent by the Commission to EU governments said that even phased measures would “unavoidably lead to a corresponding increase in new cases”.
Lifting restrictions had to wait for the spread of the virus to be reduced for a significant period, it said, with enough capacity in intensive care units to cope with a second surge in cases and increased testing, along with mass antibody tests.
Businesses, shops and schools should lead the way, followed by limited reopening of restaurants, bars and cafes