First in, first out.
As European nations contracted coronavirus earlier than the U.S., they also are relaxing restrictions as the COVID-19 disease is spreading more slowly.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday night set out plans for a gradual reopening of the eurozone’s largest economy.
The European Commission, meanwhile, has expressed its concerns about the uncoordinated approach.
“We see three lessons from their experiences,” said economists at Goldman Sachs. “First, initial reopening timelines often prove too optimistic. Second, even countries at the forefront of reopening have gradual and conservative plans. Third, recovery is easier and quicker in manufacturing and construction than in consumer services.”
Austria — Has reopened small shops including hardware and gardening centers. Mask wearing is compulsory.
Denmark — Has allowed preschool to fifth-grade students to return.
France — Lockdown to last until at least May 11.
Germany — Small shops can reopen, and secondary schools will begin to reopen on May 3, while the government recommends but doesn’t compel mask wearing.
Ireland — Quarantine to last until at least May 5.
Italy — Some shops have reopened, though not in the hard-hit region of Lombardy.
The Netherlands — Many stores are open but schools are to be shut through April 28.
Spain — Manufacturing and construction businesses reopened.
Sweden — Most permissive of the large economies. Restaurants and schools are open. There is a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
Switzerland — Planning gradual loosening of restrictions.
U.K. — No plans to ease lockdown.