After almost three months of restrictions, people across Europe are beginning to feel the benefit of lockdown measures being lifted. Having radically changed life across the continent, countries are beginning to cautiously return to something close to ‘normal’ life.
Below is a quick tour across Europe, as citizens can once again enjoy some of life’s small pleasures:
Germany is the first country to resume football matches behind closed doors. The matches are being played in empty stadiums and being broadcast live on TV. Football fans across Europe are tuning in desperate to get their sporting fix.
Locals can now soak up some culture as Spain begins to ease its tough lockdown restriction. As part of the country’s four-phase easing of restrictions, its parks, museums, and other cultural centres are now allowed to open at one-third capacity.
Bars throughout Spain are able to open their terraces at 50% capacity and the public are allowed to meet in groups of up to 10 people.
In Italy, gyms and swimming pools are beginning to reopen with stringent hygiene measures in place. These include strict social distancing, masks required to be worn and limits regarding the use of changing rooms.
Domestic tourism is being encouraged in Greece, with residents now allowed to travel to the country’s many islands. It is hoped that residents visiting their holiday properties will help support the islands’ delicate economies, that would rely heavily on tourism throughout the summer season.
Life in Belgium is beginning to return to normal with restrictions slowly being lifted. Museums and zoos have reopened with strict one-way systems in place. Those hoping to make a visit will need to buy tickets in advance and will be provided with a time slot for their trip.
Similarly, in Austria, hotels, zoos, swimming pools and tourist attractions will reopen from the end of May. Restaurants and cafes throughout the country have already been reopened.
Three Baltic states – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, have become the first countries in Europe to allow free movement again, but only between each other. Due to low infection rates, residents are able to move freely, provided they have not travelled outside the ‘travel bubble’ for 14 days prior.
With the highest per capita beer consumption in the world, Czechs will be delighted to be able to return to pubs. Face coverings and mandatory and social distancing must always be maintained.
Although the landscape remains notably different, these steps towards the reopening of leisure and tourism destinations across Europe are a positive step.
Over the coming weeks, Britain will begin further easing its lockdown measures and will see more shops and destinations begin trading again.