Photos of What Daily Life Is Like After COVID-19 Lockdown


The "new norm" is the current buzz phrase to describe the changes in our daily lives, whether they be small differences to what we are used to or impactful. Here is a breakdown of some of the major changes we've seen around the world as countries have begun phasing out their lockdown measures.


In most countries, schools and other educational institutions are still closed and have announced they will only reopen for the next school year. In Asia and Europe however, governments decided to reopen schools prior to the end of the academic year. To do so, strict guidelines have been distributed to education officials and staff. In China, for instance, students and staff must go through a tent equipped with thermal scanners and sanitize their hands prior to entering their school grounds. In Canada, teachers wear face shields and masks and ensure kids' children's hands are clean by distributing hand sanitizer throughout the day.

Many schools invested in plastic screens to divide the students' desks while others rearranged the layout of their classrooms to allow for more space between students. Cafeterias have also had to rethink the way they provide food to the students and seating arrangements. In South Korea, plastic dividers are used to protect high school students. In Denmark, teachers have taught their classes outdoors when possible, while in Japan, classes and school events are held in larger spaces such as gymnasiums. Overall, governments have encouraged schools to prioritize graduating students and implement a staggered approach, with pupils attending schools only one or two days per week.




The restaurant industry has been greatly impacted during the pandemic. Not only have restaurateurs had to face weeks of closure, they now have to invest in supplies and technologies to make their dining experience as safe as possible for their patrons. Around the world, business owners have taken ingenious steps such as building table shields out of PVC pipes in Thailand, filling empty seats with stuffed animals or mannequins in Germany, and using QR codes to download digital menus in Spain. A restaurant in Amsterdam made the headlines by experimenting with the use of greenhouses by the canal while in South Korea, coffee shops have welcomed the use of robots to serve tables. Finally, don’t be surprised to find many bars shielded from customers with plexiglass dividers.  




Non-essential retail stores are finally authorized to reopen in many parts of the world. Shoppers may find that dressing rooms are cordoned off like a store in Germany where only one in two dressing rooms are available. In Spain, a shoe shop requires customers to use gloves and plastic covers on their feet when trying on a pair of shoes. Before opening, store managers also invested in plexiglass dividers at checkout and floor markings to ensure clients follow social distancing measures. Finally, in addition to limiting the number of shoppers allowed in, malls and shopping centers have implemented temperature checks and sanitizing booths to key entrances.




The personal care and beauty industry is another sector that has hit rock bottom during this pandemic and that must drastically change the way it delivers services to customers. Salons across the world have implemented new measures and are training their staff to ensure the safety and health of both employees and clients. In China, clients are asked to cover their shoes with protective plastic to help keep the salon clean. Most businesses have also installed plexiglass dividers between work and shampoo stations. A spa in Vienna was able to reopen and offer facial treatments with staff wearing face masks and working behind a custom plastic screen.




In most countries, gyms and sports are among the businesses and activities to be reopened last. Still, some countries recently lifted the ban on gym clubs. Like hair salons, restaurants or retail stores, fitness clubs too are using plastic screens to divide their space. In Belgium, a gym center installed screens between treadmills while, in Germany, treadmills were taped off to keep members from getting too close. In Italy and Switzerland, gym centers used floor markings to create training pods and ensure social distancing between members. 




Last, but not least, the travel and transportation sector will take years to recover from the pandemic and regain travelers' and commuters' trust and confidence. For now, people should expect to walk through thermal scanners or have their temperature checked by staff as they enter airports, train stations and other main transport hubs. Subway, train, and bus companies have all taken steps to ensure social distancing between passengers, marking off every other seat. From New York City to India, France and the U.K., train and subway stations have adopted signage on the floor to marks areas where people can wait and stand safely, away from fellow travelers. In Manila, the Philippines’ capital city, authorities conducted a large-scale experiment a few days prior to lifting the lockdown orders with over 500 police officers serving as commuters to assess how social distancing would be maintained once public transit reopened to the public. For more information about travel this year, visit our Travel Q&A webpage.



Posted: 7/31/2020 9:00:00 AM