Slow & steady: European social distancing measures show signs of lifting

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There are signs that social distancing measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are beginning to relax, as the infection rate starts to be contained internationally.

Some nations—particularly in Europe—are cautiously starting to repeal their social distancing measures, entering a ‘second-phase’ of lockdown.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has set out a plan to reopen Germany, with schools gradually opening-up, some shops and businesses allowed to operate and a review for the two-person gathering limit set for 30 April.

In Italy, bookshops, children’s clothing stores and dry cleaners have been deemed essential businesses as the number of cases and fatalities begins to fall.

In Austria, retailers with stores under 400 square metres have been allowed to reopen.

In Spain, construction and manufacturing workers were given the go-ahead to return to work.

In The Czech Republic, businesses like hardware stores and bike shops have started to reopen, with restaurants and large stores set to open their doors by June 8.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron will unveil a plan for the reopening of kindergartens, schools and workplaces by the end of April.

This news comes as talk of the Australian and New Zealand border controls being relaxed sooner, and the Australian Government injects $165 million to cover the cost of domestic flights for airlines.