Skiing, terraces and fewer masks … in some countries, the timid return to “life before” the Covid-19

By Antonin Lainé

Posted today at 4:10 p.m., updated at 4:28 p.m.

It was arguably one of the most anticipated announcements in the country: Thursday, April 16, the Israeli Minister of Health, Yuli Edelstein, announced the lifting of the obligation to wear the mask in outdoor public places from the following Sunday, thanks to an intense vaccination campaign.

Other countries in the world have also tried to reduce the health measures put in place to fight the pandemic. Either because the health situation is improving there, as for example in the United Kingdom or New Zealand, a country which has just reopened an air link without quarantine with neighboring Australia; either for purely economic reasons, although the epidemic does not show any sign of slowing down, as in Poland, where certain measures have been lifted in an attempt to revive a tourist sector in crisis. Finally, there are some places almost exempt from special health measures because the epidemic is now non-existent, like Iceland, where life from the pre-pandemic era seems to be resuming its course.

In Tel Aviv, people gather to watch the sunset on Sunday April 18.  On that day, the country lifted the obligation to wear a mask in public spaces and completely reopened its schools and universities.
The mask therefore disappeared completely from Israeli streets, such as here in Tel Aviv on April 18.  However, it remains mandatory indoors.
In the UK some restrictions are also starting to be lifted: this is the case for example for sports clubs, which can now reopen their doors, as here in Wallsend on April 12.
Since April 12, bars also have the right to raise the curtain and are therefore taken by storm, as here in London on April 16.  The service can only be provided on the terrace and, in theory, two meters are required between the tables, each with a maximum of six people.
On a bar terrace in London on April 12, 2021.
The United Kingdom was preceded by Portugal, which authorized the terraces of cafes to be once again taken over by customers on April 5, as here in Porto.
Portuguese non-food markets can also welcome customers again, as evidenced by this stall at a market in Espinho on April 5.
Sports activities for individuals are also allowed again in Portugal, as here in Lisbon on April 5.
In Poland, despite a significant progression of the virus, tourist infrastructures have reopened in order to support the sector.  Holidaymakers flocked to ski resorts, like Zakopane here, on February 13.
With the reopening of the tourist sector in Poland, the frequentation of the frozen beaches of the Baltic Sea, as in Sopot on February 14, is very important.  Here hotels now have the right to accommodate tourists at 50% of their capacity.
In Belgium, hairdressers have obtained the right to reopen their salons.  Here in Brussels, March 24.
New Zealand and Australia have set up a
New Zealanders await the arrival of a family member from Australia on April 19 at Wellington Airport.
In Switzerland, restaurants can welcome customers again since April 19, but only on the terrace for the moment, as here in Nyon.
A swimmer in the public swimming pool in Seltjarnarnes, Iceland on February 12.  Little concerned by the pandemic, Iceland has reopened all of its establishments and is now content to monitor the arrivals of foreigners so as not to experience a new epidemic episode.
In the Kaldi bar in Reykjavik on February 11.

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