Factbox: Back to pubs, gyms and movies: plotting the road back to normal – Metro US

Factbox: Back to pubs, gyms and movies: plotting the road back to normal

COVID-19 restrictions ease, in London
COVID-19 restrictions ease, in London

(Reuters) – As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout gains momentum, many countries are planning a gradual return to normal, opening borders and letting people back into restaurants, shops and sports venues after more than a year of on-off lockdowns.

Here are some of their plans, in alphabetical order:


Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on May 7 Australia would in the following days lift a ban on its citizens returning from COVID-ravaged India.

Australia is expected to allow international travel to begin mid-next year.


Belgium plans to ease nearly all lockdown measures from June 9 provided vaccinations keep up their momentum and the number of people in intensive care units remains under 500.


Non-essential retailers in England reopened on April 12 along with pubs and restaurants operating outdoors. Indoor hospitality, cinemas and sports halls are expected to reopen on May 17. Britain will also allow international travel to resume, but people arriving from most major destinations will still be subject to mandatory quarantine.

The one-metre plus social distancing rule for restaurants and pubs might be ditched on June 21.

Britain’s sports minister said he was confident sports events could welcome back capacity crowds from June 21, though some “high-risk” venues might need safety measures.


France will start relaxing a nightly curfew and allow cafes, bars and restaurants to offer outside service from May 19. The plan is first to push back the curfew to 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) from 7 p.m, and then to 11 p.m. from June 9, before scrapping it completely on June 30.

Indoor dining will be allowed from June 30.

All shops, museums, cinemas and theatres, will be allowed to reopen on May 19. Foreign tourists with a “health pass” will be able to visit France again from June 9.

Parisian fashion houses will be allowed to organise live shows and presentations in July.


Germany eased restrictions on people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus from May 9, lifting curfews and quarantine rules as well as the obligation to provide a negative test result to visit a hairdresser, zoo or to go shopping. (https://bit.ly/3fb4pgl)

From May 12, travellers could enter the country without the need to quarantine, except those arriving from countries designated as risk areas.

The Berlin state government has agreed to lift a night-time curfew and ease restrictions on shopping from May 19 and to allow outdoor dining from May 21, if the seven-day incidence remained below 100 for three consecutive days.

Other regions, such as the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, are planning a three-stage opening scheme that started from May 12, with indoor restaurants opening on June 2 in areas of incidence below 50.

The state of Bavaria allowed outdoor dining and the opening of concert halls, opera houses, theatres and cinemas from May 10 in areas where the seven-day COVID-19 incidence per 100,000 residents is under 100. Hotels, holiday homes and campsites will reopen from May 21. (https://bit.ly/2Ru1tDc)

From May 12, Bavaria also allowed travel to Austria.

Lower Saxony eased restrictions from May 10 in low incidence areas for those vaccinated, with a negative test result or proof of recovery. This included the reopening of outdoor dining, accommodation for local travellers, and all retail stores. (https://bit.ly/3f3SjoT)


Greece reopened restaurants and bars from May 3, organised beaches on May 8, and its tourism industry on May 14. Tourists from the EU, Britain, the United States and Israel will be allowed to visit as long as they have been vaccinated or can show negative COVID-19 test results.


Italian coffee bars, restaurants, cinemas and theatres partially reopened in most regions on April 26, and indoor dining will be allowed from June 1.

A phased reopening of pools and gyms is planned from mid-May, with strict social distancing rules in force. Open-air swimming pools are scheduled to be opened from May 15 and some gym activities will restart on June 1.

Italy will lift quarantine restrictions for travellers arriving from European and Schengen zone countries, Britain and Israel from May 16, but a negative swab before travelling will still be required.


Poland reopened shopping centres on May 4, hotels from May 8 and restaurants will be able to serve food outdoors from May 15. By the end of May, all children should be able to return to school, and events such as weddings with up to 50 people will be allowed.

It also brought forward the reopening of cinemas, theatres, concert halls and cultural institutions by one week, to May 21.

Indoor dining, indoor sports facilities and swimming pools will be allowed to reopen with capacity restrictions one day earlier than planned on May 28. (https://bit.ly/3o0gmtc)


Qatar on May 9 decided to gradually lift coronavirus-related measures in four phases, starting on May 28 and ending on July 30.


Saudi Arabia will on May 17 open land, sea and air borders, and lift the suspension on its citizens travelling abroad.


Curfews were lifted across most of Spain on May 9. Since then, responsibility for anti-COVID emergency measures lies with individual regions, and some are seeking the backing of courts to extend or bring back restrictions.

Spain plans to lift its requirement for Britons to present a negative coronavirus PCR test upon arrival from May 20.

On May 12, Spanish soccer clubs were given the green light for home team supporters to return to matches for the final two rounds of fixtures this season. A maximum of 5,000 spectators would be able to attend games in regions with fewer than 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, meaning the regions of Valencia and Galicia will be able to welcome supporters back.

Numbers at games will rise substantially next month, when up to 16,000 fans will attend all of Spain’s group matches in the European Championship.


On May 3, New York City dwellers were allowed to have a drink at an indoor bar for the first time in months, days after Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city should reopen in full on July 1.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis on May 3 signed an executive order to end all local emergency orders relating to the virus.

The states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will lift most capacity restrictions on businesses, including retail stores, food services and gyms, beginning on May 19.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo also said the New York City subway system, which has been closing from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. for disinfecting stations and cars, would resume its 24-hour service on May 17.

California will fully reopen its economy on June 15 if COVID-19 hospitalisations are low and stable, and vaccine supplies are enough for everyone over the age of 16 who wants to be inoculated. (https://bit.ly/3bm8DjO)

Virginia plans to lift all restrictions on June 15, except for a mask mandate. Minnesota plans to remove all limits by July 1, or sooner if 70% of the state’s residents over 16 get vaccinated.

(Compiled by Vladimir Sadykov, Dagmarah Mackos and Federica Urso. Editing by Milla Nissi and Mark Potter)

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