This Is What Some Of Europe's Biggest Cities Look Like As Lockdown Measures Start To Ease

Italy, Spain and France have all suffered more than 20,000 fatalities each, and have been living under some of the world’s most restrictive lockdown rules since the start of the crisis.  But even as employees tentatively return to work and shops start to open, stark warnings have been issued about what needs to be done to avoid a second wave.  In Italy – the hardest-hit country in Europe, with almost 29,000 deaths – millions of people returned to work on Monday morning, easing some aspects of the world’s longest lockdown. “It is good to be back, but the world has totally changed,” said Gianluca Martucci, pulling up the shutters on the small warehouse of a catering business in the backstreets of Rome. Although the figures were positive, the long May holiday weekend may have led to delays in data notification, chief health emergency officer Fernando Simon said, warning against complacency. In central Madrid, hardware store owner Jorge Garcia stuck posters explaining the new regulations to his windows before reopening for the first time in 50 days. In the next stage, outdoor areas of bars and restaurants can open at half occupancy, while groups of up to 10 people will be allowed in public places and homes. Meanwhile France, which has seen almost 25,000 deaths, is preparing for some restrictions to lift from May 11 – when pre-school and primary-age children could return to the classroom and most shops could reopen their doors.  Up to 70% of the Paris Metro system is expected to start moving once again, but bars and restaurants will remain closed.  Despite the movement, president Emmanuel Macron warned on Friday that easing the national lockdown would be only a first step towards fully exiting restrictions.  “May 11 will not be the passage to normal life. “There will be several phases and May 11 will be one of them.” The government has said it is prepared to slow or delay the unwinding of the lockdown if the virus infection rate spikes markedly higher, with administrative departments divided into “red” and “green” zones. North-eastern France, including the Paris region, has been especially hard hit, while swathes of the west and south of the country have barely been impacted, raising a dilemma for the government over how to ease the lockdown ahead of the busy summer tourism season. Here in the UK Boris Johnson is expected to reveal a road map on Sunday, detailing exactly how restrictions will be eased in order for Britons to safely return to work.