Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in a medical mask.
Several countries in Europe have announced plans to reopen at least parts of their economy and society.
Sweden remains open and has kept its borders open as well as its preschools, grade schools, bars, restaurants, parks, and shops.
Norway is planning to open kindergarten next week.
The Danish Prime Minister announced that she expects to open day care and schools up to 5th grade on April 15th.
And Austria is planning to lift its coronavirus lockdown while requiring citizens to wear face masks.
Austria could be the first EU country to start lifting its coronavirus lockdown, but it all depends on people continuing to obey strict social distancing rules.
Countries across Europe have put strict measures in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19, ordering bars, theatres, gyms and non-essential shops to close their doors. People have been told to stay at home as much as possible and to only venture out for absolutely essential purposes.
The lockdown in Austria has curbed the daily increase in infections to single digits in percentage terms and the number of people admitted to hospital with the disease has stabilised. Today the government announced plans to start reopening shops while widening a requirement to wear face masks.
Despite warning last week that the country’s healthcare system could soon be stretched, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the Alpine republic’s decision to take action early is now starting paying off. At a press conference he said: ‘We reacted faster and more restrictively than in other countries and could therefore avoid the worst.
The Czech Republic is also planning to ease some measures.
Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech said the government also will discuss a proposal to allow more small stores to reopen, depending on the development of the epidemic. The Cabinet will decide on the measures later this week.