We are now into the fourth week of the coronavirus lockdown and life in London has been turned upside down.
As well as most of the businesses you’d normally visit being closed, everyone is being told to stay at home and only leave for a select few reasons.
With such disruption to our society and economy it makes sense that the authorities are looking towards an exit strategy with things returning to normal when possble.
But I wouldn’t hold your breathe.
On Tuesday (April 14) Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in for Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister recovers from coronavirus, said that the Government does not expect to make changes to the lockdown this week.
Raab told the nation in the daily coronavirus briefing: “We don’t expect to make any changes to the measures currently in place at that point and we won’t until we’re confident, as confident as we realistically can be, that any such changes can be safely made”.
But what will it look like when restrictions are finally lifted?
The government is highly unlikely to do it all in one go or risk a second wave of infections and deaths.
So the best clue we can get is to look to other countries that have begun to slowly lift measures that were imposed as the pandemic spread.
Austria, Denmark, Italy, Norway and Spain have all taken steps to open up the economy again.
Here is what’s been done so far.
From Wednesday (April 15) children in Denmark aged 11 and younger will return to schools after a month of being at home.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is keen to open the country up again but she said: “If we open Denmark too quickly again, we risk infections rising too sharply and then we’ll have to close down again”.
Similarly in Norway kindergartens will open in Monday April 20, with junior schools opening a week later.
Children, although in no way invincible against the virus have been far less affected than elderly people.
In Austria thousands of shops have reopened albeit with strict rules to maintain social distancing.
The type of shops allowed to reopen are garden centres, DIY stores and small shops.
In Italy, which was the epicentre of the virus in Europe, a limited number of shops have reopened after five weeks of closures.
These include bookshops, stationary and clothes for children.
Poland and Czech Republic have also started allowing certain shops to reopen.
Spain, which has had the third highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world after the US and Italy, has made moves to get the country working again.
After a two week shutdown, workers in industry and construction will be able to return to their jobs.
People who can work from home are being asked to continue.