PREPARING FOR “NEW NORMAL” AS COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS BEGIN TO EASE
As the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe since early March, lockdown measures were also taken by many governments to stem the spread of the virus. Now that some countries are preparing to lift or at least ease some of the restrictions previously imposed, it is fair to assume that life is unlikely to be the same compared to how it was prior to the outbreak.
From Paris to New York to Bangkok, lives were brought to a standstill while economic activities were largely halted due to various restrictions. As a start, social distancing will be a common practice whenever one is out of his or her home. Parks, malls, bars, restaurants as well as public transportation will be among the most affected by such measure that aimed at minimizing the risk of infection among the patrons. For instance, buses could limit the number of passengers at a go while cinemas might also choose to leave some seats empty during each show.
During the lockdown period, many companies also made the transition from working in office to working from home. Although such transition still depends largely on the sector and the type of jobs involved, it cannot be denied that such option is viable as companies begin to realise some face-to-face communication could easily be replaced with an e-mail as well as many other applications such as Teams, Skype and Hangouts among others. Additionally, flexible hours or alternating workforce in offices could also be something to look upon until the outbreak is fully controlled. Schools or colleges are also likely to be closed for a while even as lockdowns are lifted as online learning is expected to take the centre stage.
Intra and inter-state travelling could also become more restrictive as places where the virus remains a concern could see people being allowed to only travel within a certain radius. In Europe for instance, moving around the Schengen Area could also be less breezy as governments remain doubtful that all border restrictions can be completely lifted despite the pandemic situation showing signs of abating in some countries. Even if travelling is relaxed, pre-departure screening that includes temperature checks as well as health declarations at transport hubs imposed since the beginning are also likely to stay for the foreseeable future. The above-mentioned are some of the issues that are worth pondering with more and more countries slowly emerging from lockdowns in the coming months. Until a vaccine is being made, the adaptation of this “new normal” will be critical as societies gradually recover from the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Expected date of Covid-19 lockdown/restrictions being eased
Switzerland – 27 April
South Africa – 1 May
India – 3 May
Italy – 4 May
Lesotho – 5 May
Hong Kong – 7 May
Bahrain – 7 May
Colombia – 11 May
France – 11 May
Malaysia – 12 May
Philippines – 15 May
Netherlands – 20 May
Singapore – 1 June
Note: These dates are correct as of 24 April though they may subject to change as the situation develops. Further regular updates are available on the Safeture app