Some countries of Europe are realizing that the coronavirus is unlikely to dissipate as quickly as they expected. For this reason, some measures to contain the virus, like social distancing, will certainly need to be maintained by governments for a longer period of time. Recently, the governments of Germany, both federal and state, decided to ease some of the restrictions to combat Covid-19, such as social distancing, for example. This includes allowing some small retail businesses to reopen, for example. Angela Merkel, Germany’s leader, said she fully supports the openness decided by governments. However, she also finds the opening somewhat bold and worrying.
Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer of England, stated that the possibility of an efficient vaccine or solution against the disease will soon be small. According to him, social containment measures will be necessary. Besides, Nicola Sturgeon, Prime Minister of Scotland, Nicola also indicated on Thursday that no changes will be made to social measures to restrict coronavirus, for the time being. So, he suggested that the return to normality probably won’t happen this year.
More on European presidents dealing with social distance in their countries
President Emmanuel Macron of France said that social distancing must continue. In addition, until May 11, the country’s borders will be closed. He also thinks that there would be no quick return to normal as many expected. Still according to Macron, we will have to deal with the virus for many months yet.
António Costa, Portugal’s prime minister, said normalcy would probably not return, in a statement to the press on Wednesday. Unless a vaccine comes out for everyone, he said. With that, the months of May and June will be a period of transition for the virus to slow down. However, we need to keep in mind that the slowdown is not the same as the return to normal.
In Spain, according to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez speaking in parliament on Wednesday, a possible return to normality must be slow to be safe. A previous statement affirmed that the vaccine would be the only solution for a return.
In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte thinks that the people of the country need to respect social distancing as much as possible, speaking to parliament on Tuesday. Also, he said it was necessary to publicize the massive use of protective equipment by people. According to him, this needs to be done until treatment comes up.
With all that being said, it is possible to see that Europe realizes social distancing is here to stay. Although some countries are preparing to return to activities, the “normal” will not be exactly “normal”. Restrictions on outdoor activities may still persist. Schools may reopen in stages. Meetings in bars or public events are likely to remain banned or restricted for some time.