European countries such as Britain and Italy are preparing to facilitate further locking measures even though scientists are urging caution as coronavirus cases continue to increase.
Britain still sees a steady increase in coronavirus infections but governments face pressure to restart their economy after the European closure triggers the biggest peacetime decline on record.
The European Commission estimates the coronavirus will produce a GDP hit of 7.7 percent by 2020. And he predicts the British economy will shrink by 8.3 percent.
Some schools and outdoor markets will reopen today in line with social distance measures in the UK. And the competitive horse racing event will resume, while 2 million vulnerable people with a higher risk of coronavirus are now allowed outside.
Non-essential shops such as clothing retailers and bookstores will reopen starting June 15 under British guidance. Meanwhile, the Premier League will return from 17 June.
“We must take further restrictive steps if we find there is an increase in the virus,” foreign secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC yesterday.
He added that “we cannot stay locked forever”.
1,936 people tested positive for corona virus yesterday in the UK, where confirmed cases have reached 276,156, according to Johns Hopkins University.
And top scientific advisors warn against reopening the economy too quickly given Britain’s high death rate of 38,489.
“Opening the lock too quickly carries a big risk that all the good work done by everyone to reduce transmission can be lost,” Professor Peter Openshaw, the government’s scientific advisor, told the BBC.
Worldwide, countries now have 6,170,556 infections and 372,099 deaths.
Italy, too, moved to reopen its economy after protests to loosen the lockdown occurred in Rome and Milan last weekend.
“Italy has been able to control the virus,” Silvio Brusaferro, head of the ISS public health agency, told the daily la Repubblica. “Monitoring allows us to pinpoint signs of higher viral circulation and take appropriate action.”
Italy’s economy shrank 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2020, with some estimates forecasting double-digit declines this year.
Meanwhile, Germany, has reopened its economy more slowly. The plan will allow tourists from abroad to visit from 15 June, and will hold the Frankfurt Book Fair under strict social distance measures in October.
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