On Getting Back Up Again: The Slow Reopening of the European Economy

With various nations in differing stages of reopening society, it is no small feat how the entirety of Europe and their respective national governments have banded together and are taking baby steps towards normalcy in this ‘new normal’.

Vaccinations roll out

With more COVID-19 vaccinations being deployed at an accelerating pace across Europe, government employees and businesspeople alike have been keen to get back on the grind once more and pick up where they last left off anticlimactically, more than a year ago.

It is without secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has pretty much made everyone, ie. global economy and society at large, hit the fan all too gruesomely. Many businesses all over the world have since then struggled to stay above water, trying with all their might to cope with both the physical and financial strain of living through a pandemic.

The new normal

It is only a full year after, when most of the dust has settled and people have since then acclimated themselves to the new normal, that Europe has finally held its ground amidst such turmoil. The process did not happen overnight and has only been achieved after much arduous effort from multiple parties and a great deal of resilient patience and following quarantine guidelines closely.

It started with one of Europe’s largest economy to date, Germany, having begun efforts in the educational sector and started reinstating in-person classes as early as February 2021, with shops allowed to resume sales last March 2021.

COVID-19 has taught the world that not all jobs are in dire need of social interactions around the clock and can just as easily be managed without physical appearances than others. When it comes to lifting restrictions for the sake of the economy, these certain factors have religiously been considered.

Reasonably confident, but still rightfully vigilant

A year later, the sheer magnitude and scale of the impact of Europe’s biggest economy have now been made more obvious than ever. Lars Feld, one of Europe’s top economic advisers, said: “The extension of the lockdown will weigh on the economy, but it’s understandable given the concern about a third wave of infections with a mutated virus,” while referring to industry and construction as “the backbone of the economic recovery”.

While the pandemic continues to rage throughout swaths of the developing world, daily confirmed new cases in the European Union dropped by about two thirds between April 14 and May 19 of this year which has led to the nation’s slow process of reopening its doors for business and commerce.

While case numbers remain much higher or the same as a year ago, this overall significant fall has paved the way for a cautious reopening. This has begun with baby steps in the direction of lifting restrictions on nonessential shops, ending curfew limits, and the return of outdoor dining.

Regulations covering cultural and sports venues have also loosened. However, a healthy degree of precaution is still advised. See the list of UK online casinos here to find ways to pass the time while waiting for limitations to fully be lifted.

The ever-present threat of another outbreak still weighs heavy 

Despite the slowing outbreak, Germany’s chancellor Angel Merkel has expressed her concerns about mutant strains emerging from the existing virus found in SARS-Cov-2. It has been reported that around a fifth of Germany’s virus cases could be a more contagious U.K. variant, considerably more than the 6% indicated in studies so far.

The sluggish pace of inoculations opens the country up to a potential renewed spike, and so even more cautionary measures have been put in place for the gradual easing of isolation guidelines.

About the Author

Pamela Rhyan is a writer for The European Business Review. She crafts timely blog pieces about trending business acumen, changing leadership dynamics, emerging finance and technology trends, and how these spaces intersect from a millennial’s perspective. She also works as an editor and content strategist to the sister publications of The European Business Review.

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