Nearly five months after the novel coronavirus first emerged in China, countries around the world are slowly starting to ease restrictions and lift lockdowns, moving from containment and mitigation to recovery.

Residents in Wuhan, China, wear face masks while riding their bikes on May 11. Credit: Getty Images

In Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province at ground zero for the global pandemic, daily life has cautiously resumed. People who have been cleared with good health are now allowed to travel and work, while city and provincial borders have reopened.

But as restrictions eases, fears of a second wave remain. Five new local transmissions were reported in Wuhan yesterday, a day after the city reported its first new case in more than a month.

Customers at a bar in Benidorm, Spain, on May 11.
Customers at a bar in Benidorm, Spain, on May 11. Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images

Some parts of Spain are entering “Phase 1” of lifting restrictions, which allows many shops to reopen, and restaurants that have outdoor seating and service.

In these areas of the country, like the Costa Blanca holiday spot Benidorm, people flocked to bars and outdoor areas to celebrate the lifting of lockdown on Monday. Other harder-hit cities like Madrid and Barcelona remain in the stricter “Phase Zero” quarantine.

People share a drink on the banks of the river Seine in Paris on Monday, on the first day of France's easing of lockdown measures.
People share a drink on the banks of the river Seine in Paris on Monday, on the first day of France’s easing of lockdown measures. Credit: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

France eased lockdown measures on Monday for the first time in more than 50 days. In Paris, traffic returned to the Champs Elysees, shops reopened, and people strolled the streets — marking a return to some aspects of normal life.

The banks of the River Seine were full of people sharing drinks and gathering with friends on Monday, eager to be back out after weeks spent cooped up.

Tourists at Shanghai Disneyland on May 11.
Tourists at Shanghai Disneyland on May 11. Credit: Hu Chengwei/Getty Images

And in Shanghai, the city’s Disneyland finally reopened this week after being closed for months — but with new rules, like markers on the floor to show visitors how to conduct social distancing. Hand sanitizers are everywhere, and there is a cap on the number of daily visitors.

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