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Countries prepare to ease coronavirus lockdown

China’s state-run media said that hospitals in Wuhan, the original epicentre of the disaster, no longer have any COVID-19 patients, after a crisis in which the city recorded nearly 3,900 deaths. And British Prime Minister Boris Johnson planned to be back at his desk on Monday after a bout with the coronavirus that put him in intensive care.
 
While governors in states like hard-hit New York and Michigan are keeping stay-at-home restrictions in place until at least mid-May, their counterparts in places such as Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska are allowing certain businesses to reopen. And churches in Montana began holding in-person services again on Sunday.
 
Seven weeks into Italy’s strict lockdown, Premier Giuseppe Conte said that starting May 4, parks and gardens will reopen, funerals will be allowed, athletes can resume training, and people will be able to visit relatives living in the same region. If all goes well, stores and museums will open May 18, and restaurants, cafes and salons on June 1, he said.
 
In Spain, where the crisis is also easing, the streets echoed again with children’s shrieks of joy and the clatter of bicycles after youngsters under 14 were allowed out of their homes with one parent for up to an hour of play. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will present a detailed plan Tuesday for the “de-escalation” of Spain’s lockdown, saying: “Maximum caution will be our guideline for the rollback.” His French counterpart likewise said he will unveil a “national deconfinement strategy” on the same day.
 
Other European nations are further along in easing lockdowns. Germany allowed nonessential shops and other facilities to open last week, and Denmark has reopened schools for children up to fifth grade. In China, all major construction projects have resumed as authorities push to restart factory production and other economic activity after a 21/2-month lockdown.

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