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Agence France-Presse

Slowly but surely, numerous countries are following the lead of the central Chinese ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wuhan, by starting to gradually end their lockdown restrictions.

Here is an overview:


Although India’s national lockdown has been extended until May 3, on Monday workers in key sectors were allowed to go back to work.

They include those in agriculture, some manufacturing and construction industries, which employ millions of poorer Indians.

Germany on Monday allowed some smaller shops to reopen, while some schoolchildren will go back to school from May 4, starting with the eldest.

A ban on gatherings of more than two people remains in place and sports stadiums and concert halls will remain shut at least until August 31.

In Italy, which became the first European country to impose confinement rules on March 10, some businesses, including bookshops and laundrettes, were allowed to reopen on April 14 in some regions.

In Spain building and factory workers were allowed to go back to work on April 14.

Czech Republic
The Czech government on Monday started out on a five-stage plan to ease its lockdown measures.

First in line to start reopening are open-air markets and crafts and trades with workshops, schools and universities.

Kinshasa, DRC
The area of Gombe in Kinshasa, which houses the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s main institutions, banks and foreign embassies, will start opening Tuesday its supermarkets, groceries and banks.

Austria on April 14, allowed small shops not selling food to reopen.

Israel on Sunday allowed a reopening of high street shops, schools for children with special educational needs and a resumption of small-scale prayer meetings.

Ghana on Monday ended a three-week lockdown on two key regions around the capital Accra and second region Kumasi.

Denmark, which has not imposed a total confinement, on Monday reopened some small businesses after five weeks of closure, including hair salons, massage and tattoo parlours, dentists and driving schools.

On April 15 it had reopened nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools.

Norway, which has also not confined its population, on Monday reopened kindergartens, on condition the children will be placed in small groups of three to six.


The lockdown imposed in Madagascar’s three main cities is to be progressively lifted from Monday, in the mornings from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Albania on Monday allowed some businesses to reopen, including some firms in the agriculture, fishing, mineral, oil and textile sectors.

In Slovenia, from Monday small hardware shops, vehicle repair shops and dry cleaners were allowed to reopen, as were golf courses and badminton courts.

Helsinki, Finland
Finland’s government on April 15 lifted a blockade on the Helsinki region, which had shut roads and rail services into and out of Uusimaa county.

The central Chinese province of Hubei started ending restrictions on March 25.

Its capital Wuhan, which led the world with an unprecedented quarantine lockdown in January, the month after the novel coronavirus first broke out there, finally lifted it on April 8.

City authorities have since put dozens of its residential neighbourhoods back into quarantine after so-called “asymptomatic” people were detected there.

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