Lockdown exit strategies for European countries

As many countries begin to loosen lockdown measures across the globe, we take a closer look at European countries as they emerge from lockdown.

Specifically, what is reopening and what restrictions are being lifted for citizens.

There has so far been no lockdown easing for the UK, Ireland and Holland.


Shops and primary schools to reopen from 11 May, but senior schools closed until at least June.

Those who cannot work from home must wear masks if they cannot keep a safe distance and masks also compulsory on public transport.

Cafes, bars and restaurants remain shut.

Eduardo Philippe, French prime minister, warned that since some parts of the country had been hit far harder than others, lockdown measures would be lifted by area, with areasclassified as red, orange or green depending on their infection level.

If infection rates did not continue to fall as expected over the coming fortnight, “we will not unwind the lockdown on May 11th – or we will do it more strictly”.


Restrictions loosened in four phases where rural areas, the Balearic and Canary Islands will be in front of places such as cities.

Bars and restaurants with outdoor spaces will be allowed to run at 30% capacity.

Schools will reopen in September.


Has banned large events until 1st September.

Events that have fewer than 500 attendees may go ahead after a ruling which is to be held on 30th April.


Announced on 28th April that from 1st May, gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted and bigger shops and hairdressers will be allowed to open.

From 15th May, restaurants will be allowed to reopen under certain conditions, and from 29th May, hotels and swimming pools will be allowed to reopen.

Czech Republic

Universities and shops up to 2,500 square metres and public spaces such as fitness centres have or will reopen this week.

Gatherings of up to 10 people permitted; a change from 2 people being permitted.

Non-essential travel to be allowed again.


Shops and food courts reopened, with a 90-minute limit on outdoor activity scrapped.

A decision on schools to be reopened will be made next week.


Registry offices and courts have/will reopen this week, with plans under discussion to reopen some commercial outlets from next week.


The 3rd May will see some restrictions be lifted with further easing considered every 15 days.


Has announced plans to allow shops to open from 11th May.

Schools to reopen the following week but with caps on the number of pupils in each class


Measures eased last week, leading to an increase in social activity that has worried some health authorities.

It has been reported that there has been a small spike in the infection rate as easing has started.

Masks to be mandatory in shops and on public transport from 27 April


The country aims to restart manufacturing as soon as 4th May.

At least one region, Veneto, last week defied the central government and relaxed restrictions on cemeteries, takeaways and pizzerias.


Has opened some businesses such as approved hairdresser and flower shops.

The next stage begins 11th May when primary schools and all retail stores reopen.