The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we live our lives. For the last few months, we have been unable to get a haircut, visit family members in person, and go out for a meal. But, as the restrictions begin to lighten our new normal is beginning to emerge. Here is where the world is as of the end of May 2020.
Aruba plans to begin the reopening process to tourists between June 15th and July 1st. They were not as badly affected by the virus as many other countries around the world and therefore they feel more confident about reopening. They plan to implement widespread testing as they reopen.
Australia’s Prime Minister created a three-part plan for reopening the country. The first step includes allowing groups of no more than 10 people and cafes and restaurants are begging to reopen but with restrictions put in place by location. The second part plan will increase groups to 20 people and allow amusement parks, theaters, and gyms to reopen. Finally, the third part of the plan allows groups of up to 100 people and saunas, night clubs, and food courts are able to reopen.
Austria continues to restrict groups of more than 5 people. However, they have reopened small shops and public parks. As of May 1st, Austrian hairdressers and large shops reopened, and finally on May 15th restaurants, churches, museums, and cafes have reopened. All of this with strict social distancing rules in place.
The Bahamas put forth a five-stage plan and they are currently on stage 2. They plan to reopen their borders by July 1st.
Various parts of Canada plan to reopen at different times. British Columbia started around Mid-May with small groups of people but they are waiting to reopen hotels and resorts to sit until June to reopen. Alternatively, Alberta, Canada began reopening around May 14 with shops reopening and groups of up to 15 people allowed to gather. Ontario has a similar plan for reopening shops and veterinary clinics, however, Quebec has only just started reopening as of May 25.
France loosened its restrictions around May 11 and began reopening schools and shops. However, their restaurants and cafes won’t start back up until June 2. The oddest plan of action so far is found in France, they have said that groups of 5,000 or more are banned until at least September. This is odd because most places around the world have planned for much more strict social gathering rules.
Italy began to loosen its quarantine restrictions on May 18 by opening some restaurants, shops, and churches. However, they have yet to reduce the social distancing guidelines. Social gathering remains banned for the time being and Italy’s borders are planning to reopen on June 3.
Mexico has also decided to open up in stages and their stages vary depending on the region. For example, Cancun will begin to allow tourists to return as of the beginning of June. Alternatively, Los Cabos won’t begin allowing tourists to visit until at least July. Finally, Mexico City has decided to begin reopening restaurants, stores, and theaters but they do not plan to allow full capacity for the foreseeable future. At this time they have decided on ⅓ capacity.
The United Kingdom has put into action a three-step plan for reopening. As of mid-May, they began allowing workers (those that cannot work from home) to return to their jobs. Next, schools and businesses will also begin to reopen with restrictions and varying rules in place. Finally, the third stage explains the pan do reopening restaurants, hairdressers, churches, etc.
The United States has also implemented a plan for reopening, largely based on certain criteria that if met the governors of each state can determine their specific plan or reopening. The criteria and other information for the United States reopening plan can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/ as well as a state by state plan found at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/states-reopen-map-coronavirus.html.