LAST UPDATED – May 11, 2020
BW Confidential has put together the COVID-19 World Tracker in a bid to keep readers up to date with the different lockdown measures – and therefore store and business closures – around the globe, as well as travel restrictions. The key measures implemented by governments in different countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas are listed below.
Italy: On May 4, Italy began reopening as factories resumed operations and employees returned to work, while still following social distancing and sanitary guidelines. The next phase is set to begin May 18, with retail businesses, museums, exhibitions and libraries reopening. On April 26, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte outlined guidelines to gradually begin reopening the country. As of May 4, manufacturing and construction will be allowed to re-start. On May 18, the next phase will begin, with retail businesses, museums, exhibitions and libraries reopening. On June 1, bars, restaurants, hair salons and beauty centers will be allowed to resume operations. Social distancing measures will still be enforced in public spaces, and surgical masks will be mandatory on public transport. Italy’s government said on April 21 that it expects to ease the lockdown in early May. The government will announce a plan of how the lockdown will work later this week. On April 10, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte extended Italy’s nationwide lockdown until May 3. However, as of April 14, some businesses will be allowed to reopen, including bookstores, stationery shops, equipment stores and children’s clothing retailers. On March 30, Italy announced that it would extend the country’s lockdown until at least April 12. On March 9, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a national quarantine until April 3 – the quarantine is expected to be prolonged beyond this date. Restrictions were tightened further on March 11 with the closure of all stores and commercial activities, with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies. As of March 22, the government shut down all non-essential manufacturing until April 3.
France: On May 2, France said it would extend its state of emergency until July 24. It also stated there would be a 14-day quarantine requirement for those arriving in France. On April 30, the government released a map showing regions in the red category and those in a green category. It said that those in the red zone, around a third of the country, may not see the lockdown lifted on May 11 if the circulation of the virus and ability to treat and test patients does not improve. On April 28, France provided more details about how the country would emerge from the lockdown. Businesses will be allowed to re-open from May 11, excluding cafés, restaurants, cinemas and museums. Schools will also re-open progressively. Long-distance travel remains restricted. On April 28, French prime minister Édouard Philippe will present a national plan about how the country will ease lockdown measures and re-open the economy. On April 16, France’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire said that hairdressing salons could re-open from May 11. On April 13, French president Emmanuel Macron extended the lockdown in the country until May 11. He said creches and schools would open progressively after that date, but that bars, restaurants and cinemas would remain closed. The country’s borders with n on-European countries will remain closed. On March 27, the French government extended the lockdown until April 15. On March 16, French president Emmanuel Macron announced the country would go into lockdown – all shops were forced to close, except for supermarkets and pharmacies. However, it is thought it could last for at least six weeks. Individuals are only allowed to leave their home with a signed government document.
Spain: On May 4, Spain began a gradual reopening scheme. While some shops must remain closed, like bookshops and hairdressers, others are allowed to operate according to government-mandated limitations. Only one customer per employee is allowed in-store, and social distancing and sanitary protocols must be followed. On April 26, Spain eased quarantine restrictions by allowing children outside for one hour within one kilometer of their home, accompanied by an adult. On May 2 adults will also be allowed outdoors to exercise or go for a walk, only if the country’s infection figures continue to show improvement. On April 18, Spain’s government said it would extend its lockdown until May 9. On April 13, Spain loosened its lockdown measures, allowing those in non-essential industries to go back to work after a two-week ban. On April 10, Spain said that the lockdown will remain in place until May. On April 4, 2020 Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez said it would ask parliament to extend lockdown measures by 15 more days until April 26. On March 28 prime minister Pedro Sánchez ordered a ban on non-essential work, without specifying which activities are allowed.As of March 14, Spain went into lockdown, with all non-essential shops closed and movement restricted to strictly essential activity. The lockdown period was originally intended to last 15 days, but on March 22, Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez announced extension of the lockdown until April 11, in addition to a ban on all non-essential travel. The travel restrictions will not apply to EU residents and those from Schengen associated countries who travel for necessity. On March 17, Sánchez announced a package worth some €200bn to alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19.
UK: On May 10, UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced some easing of its lockdown measures. Those who cannot work from home are allowed to return to work, and time spent outside, like in parks and exercising, no longer has a time limit. Johnson also announced a mandatory quarantine for all travelers arriving to the UK. On April 16 the UK announced that it would extend the lockdown for at least three more weeks. On April 4, the UK said it may relax lockdown measures before the end of May. The UK’s deputy chief medical officer said that it could take the UK six months or longer to get back to normal, adding that restrictions on everyday life would have to be lifted gradually. The country’s epidemiology adviser said in an interview with The Sunday Times that the UK should remain in lockdown until June. On March 23, UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown with the closure of all non-essential shops and restricted movement. Johnson said the restrictions will be reviewed in three weeks and will be relaxed if evidence shows that is possible.
Germany: On April 15, German chancellor Angel Merkel announced that certain shops would be allowed to reopen, but would still need to follow strict social distancing and sanitary protocols. Among the shops allowed to resume operations include bookstores, bike stores and car dealers. Restaurants and bars will remain closed and large gatherings will not resume until August 31. On Monday April 6, Germany announced it would put into two-week isolation those entering the country from April 10. On April 1, German chancellor Angel Merkel announced an extension to Germany’s social distancing guidelines until April 19. As of March 23, all non-essential stores in Germany closed. The government has enforced social distancing, but has allowed for people to leave their homes, save for entrance into public spaces like parks and playgrounds. On March 23, German chancellor Angel Merkel announced that the country would enforce more intensive border controls and restrictions on entry for a number of Germany’s most important neighboring countries.
Sweden: As of March 17, Sweden temporarily banned non-essential travel to Sweden from all countries except those in the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Swedish citizens are exempt. On March 20, the Swedish government announced economic measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, especially on small- and medium-sized businesses. Sweden has taken a different approach to most countries by not enforcing any social distancing measures, with the Public Health Agency of Sweden saying it is important that public transport continues to operate and that healthy individuals go to work or school. However, today the government announced that it would ban public gatherings of 50 or more people.
Denmark: The government said it may begin to gradually lift restrictions after Easter. The country was one of the first in Europe to close its borders and schools.
Switzerland: On May 11, Switzerland re-opened restaurants, cafés, shops and museums. Switzerland said it will open a limited number of small shops providing personal services, florists and DIY stores from April 27. From May 11, other stores will be allowed to open, while on June 8 leisure facilities and museums could open. On March 16, Switzerland closed schools, while most non-essential shops also shut. On March 20, gatherings of more than five people in public were banned. The Swiss government also enforced stricter restrictions on border control, while also announcing economic support of CHF40bn ($41.2bn).
Austria: Austria will be the first European country to relax quarantine measures, announcing on April 6 that it would allow some shops to re-open from next week. The government has drawn up a timetable for relaxing restrictions, which would also include the possibility of allowing restaurants to open from mid-May.
Poland: On March 10, the Polish government canceled all major events and on March 13, announced the closure of Poland’s borders. On March 20, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that schools would remain closed until April 12. Classes were originally canceled until March 25.
Russia: On May 11, Russia revealed a plan to gradually ease lockdown measures an said that the seven-week ‘non-working’ period would end on May 12. On April 28, Russia said it would extend its lockdown until May 11. President Vladimir Putin has extended the nine-day stay-at-home period to the whole month of April. From today March 30, Moscow has ordered a quarantine, with residents only allowed to leave their homes to for necessities. President Vladimir Putin announced a nine-day public holiday to begin on Saturday March 28 to curb the virus. Russia has also suspended all international flights in and out of the country. Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, including a temporary ban on organizing public gatherings, in addition to suspending free public transport for people over 65 years old. Sobyanin said that food shops, banks and household services would remain open.
Turkey: On April 3, Turkey announced a partial curfew on individuals under the age of 20. The country has not however, implemented a complete lockdown. On March 16, Turkey announced the closure of all bars, restaurants, cafés, wedding venues, movie theaters and indoor children’s playgrounds. As of March 17, the country also banned flights to 20 countries. The government has asked the population to stay at home, but has not ordered a nationwide curfew.
China: On April 7, Chinese media reported that Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic, will lift its 76-day lockdown of the city tomorrow April 8. As of March 25, the Chinese government reported no new domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19. The government announced that outbound interprovincial-level highways will open by March 27 to allow passengers to leave Hubei, although travel curbs will remain in place in the provincial capital Wuhan until April 8, according to the provincial department of public security. Stores in China are also re-opening. As of March 13, the average rate of business resumption in China stood at 67%, according to China Daily. China’s total retail sales for January and February fell 20.5% compared to the same period the year prior, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China.
Japan: On May 4, Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe is expected to extend the coutnry’s state of emergence until May 31. However, it also plans to allow the re-opening of parks, museums and libraries. On April 12, Japanese officials said it could take more than two months to curb the spread of COVID-19, unless the population reduces social interactions during the one-month partial lockdown. It emerged on April 6 that Japan will declare a state of emergency in seven prefectures: Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka for a period of one month. However, a lockdown is not expected. The Japanese government said on April 1, that it will close its borders to people from 73 countries- the measures will take place from Friday. As of March 9, visitors from China, Hong Kong and Korea have been asked to quarantine at designated facilities for 14 days. On March 21, the measure was expanded to member states of the Schengen Agreement, Ireland, Andorra, Iran, the UK, Egypt, Cyprus, Croatia, San Marino, Vatican City, Bulgaria, Monaco, Romania. On March 26, Japan added the US to the list. As of March 19, passengers from Iceland, certain provinces in Spain, Switzerland, certain provinces in Italy, Iran, counties in Korea, the Hubei and Zhejiang provinces in China are banned from entering Japan. On March 25, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike requested that residents stay indoors this coming weekend. On March 26, the Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures made similar statements.
South Korea: The country will impose a two-week quarantine on overseas arrivals from April 1. On March 24, South Korean president Moon Jae-in announced that the government will double the emergency financial aid for businesses to KRW100 trillion ($82.2bn). The latest measure will add another KRW22.5 trillion ($18.5bn) to last week’s aid plan, aimed at supporting small- and medium-sized companies, small business owners and the self-employed. The country has practiced social distancing and has issued daily virus tests throughout the country. Korea is tightening controls on people entering the country in response to a new surge in cases.
Singapore: On April 21, the Singapore government announced it will extend circuit breaker measures, minimizing people’s movement, for another four weeks until June 1. In the coming two weeks, beginning April 21 until May 4 (when the circuit breaker was originally supposed to end), the government will enforce stricter restrictions, including closure of all non-essential retail, although online retail and delivery will remain operational. On April 7, Singapore announced that it would ban all social gatherings of any size among those not living in the same household. Singapore has unveiled its third round of stimulus measures. On April 6, the country said it would release a further $3.5bn to cushion the impact of COVID-19, bringing the overall support package to $41.7bn. On April 3, Singapore announced it would put in place new measures to curb the spread of the virus. From April 7 until May 4, the government has said people should stay at home and only go outside to buy food or for exercise. Schools will be shut, as will offices (except for essential services). The measures could be extended for a longer period. On January 29, Singapore banned all incoming flights from mainland China, in addition to implementing temperature checkpoints at all land, air and sea checkpoints. On February 18, the Singaporean government announced a $4bn relief package for firms and workers in the coming months, citing the country’s reliance on Chinese tourism and the COVID-19’s impact. On March 26 another stimulus package of $33.8bn was announced. On March 23, the government said that all short-term visitors (from anywhere in the world) will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. The city state also announced stricter penalties for those who do not respect tighter social-distancing measures introduced this week.
Hong Kong: On May 4, Hong Kong said it would ease social-distancing measures and that gyms, beauty salons and bras will be allowed to re-open from May 8. Hong Kong said on April 21 that it will extend social distancing measures for another 14 days. On April 8, Hong Kong extended the closure of gyms, bars and other entertainment venues for another two weeks – until April 23. Bars are to close in Hong Kong for 14 days from today April 3. On March 25, Hong Kong implemented stricter travel measures, including a ban for all non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas. Hong Kong residents will have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, while passengers from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan will be banned from entry if they have visited overseas locations within the past 14 days. The measures will be put in place for 14 days. On March 24, the government announced that it would expand its current practice of random virus testing against asymptomatic inbound travelers by mandating that all arriving persons from the UK, countries in Europe and the US must have virus tests. From March 29, Hong Kong will ban public gatherings of more than four people and close cinemas and gyms.
Thailand: On April 15 Thailand announced that its shutdown of airspace to incoming commercial passengers would be extended until April 30. On April 3, Thailand announced it would band international flights from landing for three days after a group of passengers arriving at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport refused to go into quarantine. The country will introduce a curfew from this evening April 3, from 10pm to 4am every night. Those who venture out during this time could be jailed for two years. On March 26, Thailand announced a state of emergency, which included closing its borders, banning social gatherings, restricting domestic travel and closing non-essential stores. The current state of emergency will last until April 30, although can be reviewed for a possible extension but will not exceed three months.
Indonesia: As of April 1, Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust will close its portfolio of 23 retail malls and seven retail spaces, save for essential services, which will run on shorter operating hours. The closure will last for a minimum of two weeks until April 14, although it may extended depending on how the situation develops, the company said. On March 13, the Indonesian government announced the closure of all tourist sites and national parks for 14 days. On March 14, the governor of Indonesian capital Jakarta announced the closure of all schools in the province for at least two weeks. On March 15, the governor directed all individuals to limit social interactions, stay at home and to report any travel outside of Jakarta. Similar measures have been taken in other regions according to the situation. As of March 20, Indonesia banned entry to travelers from who had been in Iran, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in the last 14 days. The country’s retail sector has voluntarily started closing, despite no direct order from the government.
Malaysia: On May 1, Malaysia said it would re-open businesses from May 4, except those involving large public gatherings. On April 23, Malaysia said it would extend its lockdown by another two weeks. The lockdown will now be place until May 12. On April 12, Malaysia extended its lockdown for another two weeks, until April 28. On March 18, the Malaysian government announced an international travel ban for two weeks.
India: On May 1, India has extended its lockdown until May 18. However, it has eased some restrictions in green zones, which have low numbers of cases. On April 14, India has extended its lockdown until May 3. However, the government said that there would be some relaxation for essential services after April 20. On April 8, Hong Kong extended the closure of gyms, bars and other entertainment venues for another two weeks – until April 23. On March 24 India announced a strict three-week lockdown that would see only essential services operate for 21 days. India’s e-commerce businesses were forced to suspend services due to confusion over the lockdown.
Australia: On April 28, Australia began easing social-distancing measures. On April 16, Australia’s government said it would not lift social distancing measures for at least four weeks. On April 12, authorities told Australians to prepare for a longer lockdown and said that there would be no imminent relaxation of restrictions. The government imposed tighter restrictions on public gatherings and said that individuals should only leave their homes to buy essentials. On March 24, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison announced a ‘do not travel ban’ for all Australians. As of March 26, the government also announced tighter restrictions on public spaces like weddings, funerals, salons and other public places. Pubs, clubs, hotels, places of worship, gyms, cinemas and casinos have been forced to close. Supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open. All new visitors to Australia will be obliged to undertake a 14-day quarantine.
US: On May 4 New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo laid out plans for the state’s re-opening set for May 15. On May 5, California said it would ease restrictions for some businesses by May 8.Bookstores, clothing stores and florists will be allowed to re-open for curb-side pickup by May 8, but restaurants and shopping malls will remain closed. US states have started lifting lockdown restrictions as shelter at home orders are set to expire this week. On April 24, Georgia was one of the first states to start resuming activities, with gyms, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors and bowling alleys re-opening. As of May 1, retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity in Texas, in one of the nation’s most expansive re-opening schemes. On April 27, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that low-risk businesses upstate could start resuming operations by mid-May, although he predicted that lockdown restrictions were likely to be extended for the majority of the state. On April 16, New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo extended the state’s lockdown until May 15. On April 13, New York and five other states said they would look to coordinate on a plan to re-open businesses and schools when the outbreak comes under control. However, there is as yet no schedule for re-opening. New York governor Andrew Cuomo outlined plans to reopen the state’s economy. Cuomo gave an 18-month timeline to gradually increase economic activity, based on how essential businesses’ services are. On April 1, US president Donald Trump said he was considering banning domestic flights between different COVID-19 hotspots in the country.The state of Florida announced a stay-at-home order to go into effect on April 2 and last for 30 days. The state of Pennsylvania expanded its stay-at-home order to the whole state – it was previously in place in some counties. In a change of approach, US president Donald Trump warned Americans to prepare for a very painful two weeks, yesterday March 31. He added that the country could see 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from VOID-19 even if strict social distancing recommendations are followed. On March 29, US president extended social distancing guidelines until April 30. Trump also said that quarantine of states such as New York would not be necessary. On March 27, Trump signed into law a $2.2tn package to help the economy. On March 12, US president Donald Trump announced a ban on all travel to and from Europe for the duration of 30 days. On March 25, the US Senate approved a $2 trillion stimulus package. The package is now awaiting a decision from the House of Representatives, to take place on Friday, March 27. The package includes $350bn in loans to small businesses and a $500bn lending program for impacted companies. On March 20, New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the closure of all non-essential businesses. On March 19, California issued a ‘stay at home order,’ instructing all residents to stay home, save for essential activities like buying necessities. The order is in place until further notice.
Canada: On March 18, Canada implemented a travel ban on foreign nationals from all countries. On March 25, the government made self-isolation mandatory for all individuals entering Canada for a duration of 14 days, whether or not they show symptoms. On March 18, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced an $82bn financial plan. Some $27bn is allocated for Canadian workers and businesses, while $55bn is set to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy.
Brazil: On March 16, the Brazilian government announced a R$147.3bn ($29.17bn) package to offset the effect of COVID-19 on Brazil’s economy. On March 21, Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria announced a state-wide quarantine, which went into effect on March 24. Governors of other Brazilian states have since taken similar measures. However, On March 25, Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro denounced shutdown measures in the country.
Mexico: On April 16, Mexico said it extend its lockdown until May 30, but added that in cities with low infection rates the lockdown could be lifted on May 17. Mexico City is to close stores from April 1 and the government has asked the population to stay at home for one month. On March 30, Mexico declared a health emergency and announced an extension of a ban on non-essential movement until April 30. On March 27, Mexican president Andrés Lopez Obrador changed its approach and urged the population to stay at home. On March 24, the Mexican government closed schools and banned gatherings of more than 100 people. On March 23, the government ordered people older than 60 years old and those with pre-existing conditions to quarantine until April 19. The call also called for social distancing measures, like greeting from a distance, but no countrywide lockdown measures.
Argentina: On March 19, the government of Argentina announced a countrywide lockdown, effective March 20, until March 31, though authorities may extend this period. On March 15, president Alberto Fernandez announced that the country would close its borders for a period of 15 days.
UAE: On April 24, the government of Dubai eased some lockdown measures, including allowing people to leave their homes between 6am and 10pm without a permit (although wearing surgical masks is mandatory). On April 23, Dubai said it will ease lockdown measures, including re-opening malls and stores, although no timing was given for when businesses could resume. Dubai is to enforce a two-week lockdown from April 4. Schools in the UAE are to remain closed until June, the government announced on March 30. The United Arab Emirates announced flight suspensions for two weeks to curb the COVID-19 expansion. As of March 22, the government has allocated Dh126bn ($34.3bn) to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. On March 25, the Dubai Economy, the authority regulating business in the UAE, directed all private companies and commercial establishments to implement remote working for 80% of staff until April 9. The issue excludes pharmacies, cooperative societies, grocery stores and supermarkets. The UAE’s residents must also apply for permission to leave their homes from 8pm to 6am this weekend.
Saudi Arabia: On April 12, Saudi Arabia extended the nationwide curfew indefinitely. On April 6, Saudi Arabia announced all-day curfews in eight cities including Riyadh. Individuals can access grocery stores from 6am until 3pm, while most commercial activities are not allowed. As of March 15, all international flights to and from Saudi Arabia were banned for two weeks and from March 21, all domestic flights in Saudi Arabia were suspended for two weeks. On March 25, Saudi Arabia implemented a curfew (from 7pm to 6am everyday), in Riyadh, Makkah and Madinah.
Iran: On April 27, Iran re-opened its borders with neighbors after one month of closure. The only border to remain closed is with Turkmenistan. The Iranian government announced lockdown of the country, effective March 14. Security officials cleared streets and implemented temperature checks throughout the country’s cities. On March 24, Iranian president said all non-essential stores will remain closed until April 3 and advised that non-essential travel be reduced until April 19. On March 25, the president stated that Iranian railways have 85% less passengers to Mashhad and air travel has decreased by 88%.