Coronavirus Covid-19: Easing restrictions

This blog post aims to look at the language that is emerging as countries are relaxing their coronavirus restrictions and moving on towards a new phase. Replicating the format of a previous blogpost (dealing with the terminology the Coronavirus arrival brought with it, here), I will introduce language relevant to this stage while providing context examples taken from newspapers.


Vocabulary List 4

Easing restrictions


Easing of lockdown

Guernsey has announced it will further speed up the easing of its lockdown rules from 30 May.

BBC News – May 22, 2020

Social Bubble

How social ‘bubbles’ could work when UK lockdown is eased: Britons could be allowed to reunite with loved ones using “bubble” arrangements under proposals to further ease the lockdown.

Sky News – May 28, 2020

Deescalation (Spain*)

Many areas of Spain will be moving to different stages of the government’s coronavirus de-escalation plan tomorrow.

* This is the word that the Spanish government is using to refer to the easing of lockdown, unlike other countries.

El Pais in English – May 24, 2020

Mass gatherings

Mass gatherings could be banned for more than a year in Wales as the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine continues, a senior government adviser has said.

BBC News April 15, 2020

Relax restrictions (or ease restriction)

Hong Kong to relax some restrictions as new coronavirus cases dwindle.

Reuters – May 5, 2020


Businesses are reopening, but customers may not be ready to go back.

Time slots

The beaches were reserved for accredited professional athletes during the evening exercise time slots of 8-11 pm. No lifeguards were working, and nor were there any showers or changing rooms available. Since Wednesday 20 May, walking has now been permitted on the sands of Barcelona’s beaches.

Spain in English – May 27, 2020

Revive the economy

The challenges arising from the Covid crisis are far from over and relief measures need to be carefully directed to revive the economy. experts said on Thursday at the global online conference, ‘

The times of India – May 15, 2020,

Drops in the number of daily recorded deaths
Coronavirus: European countries further relax restrictions. The measures follow consistent drops in the number of daily recorded deaths. 

BBC News- May 18, 2020

Relaxed borders

Relaxed Swiss borders will reunite families and lovers.

16 May, 2020

Calculated risk

Coronavirus: Italy takes ‘calculated risk‘ in easing restrictions.

BBC News – May16, 2020

Complacency over the virus

Officials are warning that complacency over the virus could lead to the second wave of infections.

BBC News – May 18, 2020


Religious services resume in France as the easing of restrictions continues.

Euronews – May 23, 2020

At reduced capacity

Spain to recommend reopening beaches at reduced capacity

The draft guidelines also suggest city councils should separate sun loungers and delineate the space allowed for each beachgoer.

El Pais in English – May 22, 2020

A four-phase system

The country has a four-phase system for reopening, which authorities are applying at different speeds in different regions. bars and restaurants can open outdoor seating at half capacity.

BBC News – May 18, 2020


Supermarkets have already fitted screens at checkouts. Government guidance published on Monday advised other workplaces, from labs to factories, to take a similar approach. But a spike in demand has led to shortages of some types of plastic sheets.

BBC News – May 14, 2020

The risk of a second peak

Changes will be gradual to avoid the risk of a second peak of infections that could overwhelm the NHS.

BBC News – May 13, 2020

Face Covering Rules

Stricter Face Covering Rules to Go Into Effect in San Francisco.

Flattening the curve

“Australia has so far been highly successful in ‘flattening the curve’. 

AA – May 11, 2020

Stay at alert level 2

Why New Zealand will stay at alert level 2, despite having just one active case

Newshub – 29 May, 2020

Exempt from the quarantine regulations

Quarantine restrictions for entry into Germany to be relaxed. Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are also exempt from the quarantine regulations, making travel to neighbouring countries much easier.

DW – 29 May, 2020


Stay safe! 🙂









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