From our correspondent
PARIS AThe beginning of the epidemic, for about a week, Italy was the only European country to have taken drastic confinement measures. Then came France and the others, and the Italian exception dissolved also as regards the severity of the crisis: the country most affected was the United Kingdom with 38 thousand victims, then Italy with 33 thousand, France 28 thousand, Spain 27 thousand , Belgium 9000 (many compared to the total population), Germany detached with only 8000.
Lockdown for everyone (Sweden apart) but very different ways from country to country and region to region, a forest of different indications that are repeated even now, in the opposite phase, that of reopening. Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced to the French that their 2 June de-confinement will be larger than expected, because fortunately the epidemiological data are better than expected. Restaurants and cafes will reopen throughout France, and also in the Paris region, although this is the only orange zone together with the Oise and Mayotte in the Overseas (the others are green). So, in the capital, yes to restaurants but only outdoors, which will still allow you to renew the ritual of tables on the sidewalk or in the squares. A maximum of 10 people are allowed at the table, and you must put on your mask to enter the room and use the services.
All the parks also reopen in Paris, and the end of a curious standoff between the mayor Anne Hidalgo – which would have opened them even earlier – and the government, which insisted on keeping them closed. The result was that the Parisians crowded for days on the meadows of the Invalides and the Champ de Mars, the only open spaces: for a few days the policemen had them cleared out, then surrendered. Now picnics will be allowed, but for groups of no more than 10 people, and at a distance of one meter. In the United Kingdom, which borrowed the family bubble theory from New Zealand, for now you can meet a person who lives elsewhere only in a public place, outdoors.
But as of Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced, up to six people living in different homes they can also meet in private gardens for a barbecue, as long as they remember to wash their hands often and keep their distance. However, the differences related to the different components of the Kingdom resist: in Scotland people who usually live in two different houses can meet remotely outdoors since yesterday, but Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has specified that guests must never enter the house , not even briefly to use the toilet.
Outdoor weddings will be allowed in Northern Ireland, with a maximum of 10 guests starting June 8. On the same day in Denmark – which has observed the lockdown but has had only 568 victims so far – groupings of up to 50 people will be allowed. In Spain, from this week, it is possible to meet in a group but as for the number depends on the areas: 15 in the phase 2 areas, and at most 10 in those still stopped in phase 1, such as Madrid.
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