LONDON – As millions of people around the world got used to tightened barriers on Tuesday, restrictions began to ease in China, where the coronavirus pandemic started.
The closure of the city of Wuhan, where COVID-19 was first discovered, is scheduled to end on April 8, the provincial Hubei Epidemic Control Task Force said. Residents are allowed to travel to work from the province on Wednesday as soon as they have passed a virus test.
Public transportation in Wuhan, Hubei Province began testing on Monday to anticipate a return to normal life.
According to Johns Hopkins University, it has been confirmed worldwide that more than 380,000 people suffer from the coronavirus, which is thought to have developed in Hubei late last year, resulting in more than 16,500 deaths.
In the UK, however, people became more restricted after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced late Monday that a comprehensive nationwide ban would ban meetings of more than two people and almost all social events such as weddings and baptisms.
“You have to stay home,” Johnson said during a television speech to the nation on Monday night. “The key is to stop the disease from spreading between households.”
People can exercise outdoors once a day, but at a safe distance from others. Shopping should be limited to the essentials. All shops selling unnecessary goods and other public gathering places such as libraries, places of worship and playgrounds were ordered closed. Johnson said the police would also be given the power to disperse assemblies and to pay fines for non-compliance.
“The road ahead is difficult and it is still true that many lives will unfortunately be lost,” he said.
But on Tuesday, photos of overcrowded undergrounds across London were circulating on social media.
Associated Press contributed.