Search the news


Overview of national COVID-19 measures [updated 04-05-'20]

Overview of national COVID-19 measures [updated 04-05-'20]


Below an overview of measures in several EU countries. The overview document (a summary of the most important information related to businesses) is also updated. The latest version can be viewed here


The most notably change is the change in policy from Spain:

On April 28, a plan for a gradual transition with four phases was announced, with each phase set to last at least 2 weeks. Decisions will be based on regional conditions. 

  • Phase 0 (from May 4): Preparation phase, ability to go outside for exercise and walks, individual training for professional sportsmen, reopen small businesses that can take bookings (restaurants that offer take-way food and places, and hardware stores) and hairdressers.
  • Phase 1 (from May 10): Interregional trips not allowed until end-June but mobility within regions allowed;  gatherings of up to 10 people with social distancing rules, open up sidewalk cafes (30% of capacity limit) and hotels (except common areas) and religious sites (30% capacity limit). Public transport capacity will rise to 80%.
  • Phase 2 (at least 2 weeks after Phase 1):  Open up bars and restaurants with inside seating, cinemas, theatres, monuments and exhibition centres (30% capacity limit), allow cultural events such as concerts (1/3 capacity), outdoor events up to 400 people, if seated. Visit to people in homes with disabilities, but not the elderly. Schools will not open fully until September, but schools will offer classes to children under the age of six if parents require it to be able to go to work and so that students can complete their university entrance exams. Open shopping centres (except recreational areas). 
  • Phase 3 (at least 2 weeks after Phase 2, likely mid-June): Relaxation of mobility restrictions further, visit senior homes (under some yet to be set conditions), open bars, cinemas and theatres (50% capacity limit), allow shoppers to enter shops (with limits on capacity of 50%, 2 meter social distancing rules).
  • Phase 4 (the new normality stage, likely end-June): End of social and economic restrictions. Mobility across regions, public transport capacity will rise to 100%.

An overview of measures in other countries

  • Germany

Most shops of less than 800 m2 reopened in Germany as early as 20 April. In some states (Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt, Bremen) the schools will gradually reopen as of today (4 May). The hairdressers are also permitted to start again. Prayer houses, museums, memorials, zoos and playgrounds can do the same or have already done so. 

Cultural centres, bars, restaurants - except for deliveries - playgrounds and sports fields will remain closed. Large gatherings are prohibited until at least 31 August. The mouth mask will be compulsory in transport and in shops.

  • Belgium

Companies without direct contact with customers are permitted to reopen as of today (4 May), subject to the rule to keep 1.5 meters distance. Public transport will be back at full speed but people are asked to get on the bus or tram only if they do not have transport themselves and if it is possible to travel outside rush hours. Wearing a mouth mask in public transport is mandatory. 

Day trips or trips to the coast are not yet allowed. The border also remains closed for non-essential travel until 8 June. As of today (4 May), however, Belgians are allowed to meet up again with two people who do not live in the same house, but only for outdoor sports and if they keep enough distance. Other gatherings remain forbidden, as well as events, school excursions, activities of youth movements and worship services. Markets are forbidden and shops that are not essential are still locked. 

  • France

In France, the lockdown will be phased out on May 11th. From June, the French can go out again without a permit form for their groceries, appointments or individual sports activities. The kindergartens and primary schools will reopen gradually, but with a maximum of 15 pupils per classroom. Furthermore, the elderly are advised to stay at home as much as possible in the coming months.

All French people are advised to wear mouth caps in all places where the 1 metre distance rule cannot be applied properly. In public transport, mouth protection is mandatory. In any case, all shops and markets will open from 11 May, but large shopping centres will remain closed for the time being.  

It is unclear when restaurants, cafes, cinemas and entertainment venues will reopen. The French government will probably give its verdict on this around 20 May. Parks and beaches will in any case remain closed until at least 2 June. All events with more than 5,000 people are prohibited until September. 

  • Italy

As of 27 April work in some sectors has been resumed (for example in the car industry). As of 4 May the manufacturing, construction and wholesale sectors is also allowed to reopen. Italians will also be allowed to visit their families and meet in limited numbers. The parks will reopen, taking into account social distancing.  

Bars and restaurants will not be allowed to open but they will have the opportunity to sell takeaway food. Their full reopening is expected on June 1st, as are beauty salons and hairdressers. All retailers will be able to reopen on 18 May, as well as museums, cultural attractions and libraries. The schools will remain closed at least until September.  

Travel remains remain limited within the residential community, and is linked to a person's work and health.

  • Portugal

As of today (4 May) bookstores and car dealerships will be permitted to reopen. Local trade, up to 200 square meters, overlooking the street, can also be reopened with a mandatory mask. Hairdressing and beauty salons can also open by appointment. Some public services, such as tax centres, reopen by appointment - with a mandatory mask. On public transport, the mask is compulsory. Individual outdoor sports are permitted.

Secondary schools, museums, art galleries, restaurants and cafés reopen on 18th May, theatres and cinemas on 1st June, with social distance rules.

  • Austria

The Government has already permitted the reopening of certain non-essential companies. Large food stores, hairdressers and outdoor facilities are permitted to re-open as of 2 May. Also as of 2 may, travel restrictions will be lifted, meetings up to 10 people will be allowed, with a reduction for social distance. Restaurants are expected to reopen in mid-May. A mouth mask is compulsory for travel.

  • Greece

As of 4 May bookshops, hairdressing and beauty salons, electronics and sports goods shops, garden centres are permitted to reopen.  All other shops will reopen on 11 May, with the exception of shopping centres that are closed until 1 June.

Share this post via: