After reopen, people are streaming back to beaches, parks, and streets just as a heatwave hits southern Europe and spring-like temperatures allow Americans to shed winter coats. As they venture out again, most are keeping their distance and some are wearing masks and following the country’s strict rules.
Greeks flocked to the seaside on Saturday when more than 500 beaches reopened, coinciding with temperatures of 34 Celsius. Summer weather is enticing much of the world to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns as centers of the outbreak from New York to Italy and Spain gradually lift restrictions that have kept millions indoors for months.
White circles were painted on the lawn in Brooklyn’s Domino Park in New York City to help sunbathers and picnickers keep a safe distance. About half the people in the park appeared to be wearing some form of face-covering as they congregated in small groups on a warm Saturday afternoon with police officers in masks keeping watch.
People are feeling a sense of freedom again for the first time after weeks of confinement. Fishing and surfing were also allowed, but sunbathing was banned. Bathers seeking relief from the heat in Tel Aviv in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan Valley mostly tried to stay apart.
In Tunisia, which reported no new COVID-19 cases over four consecutive days last week, people flooded into the streets and to recently reopened shops with little social-distancing.
Muslims are nearing the Eid al-Fitr holiday ending the month of Ramadan when many celebrate with new purchases.
In the US states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, protests demanding states reopen faster have drawn demonstrators armed with rifles and handguns, which can be carried in public in many parts of the country.
Thousands of Germans took to the streets across the country on Saturday to demonstrate against restrictions imposed by the government, and police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Warsaw.
In London’s Hyde Park, police arrested many people on Saturday for deliberately breaking social distancing guidelines in protest at the rules, on the first weekend since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a slight loosening of England’s lockdown.
Couples and larger groups sunned themselves on the open lawns, mostly observing social distancing as they chatted and drank beer.
In Australia, hotels and clubs reopened offering a limited number of thirsty patrons their first cold drink in months, as long as they had a meal, and some cafes and restaurants opened to small numbers of customers. Parks again saw picnics and community sport, as long as it was not body contact. Beaches, previously closed or open only for swimmers and surfers, hosted volleyball games.