European countries sought Saturday to keep people from travelling in sunny Easter weather and grappled with how and when to start loosening weeks-long shutdowns of much of public life. The United States‘ death toll from the coronavirus outbreak approached that of Italy, the world’s biggest so far.
In Asia, South Korea announced plans to strap tracking wristbands on people who defy quarantine orders. The Japanese government appealed to the public nationwide to avoid bars, clubs and restaurants — broadening a measure announced earlier for seven urban areas including Tokyo.
Most European countries have gone well beyond that over recent weeks, imposing lockdowns of various severity. Beautiful weather across much of the continent provided an extra test of people’s discipline on a long Easter weekend like none before.
In Italy, checks were stepped up — particularly around the northern Lombardy region, which has borne the brunt of the COVID-19 outbreak. Roadblocks were set up on main thoroughfares in and out of the regional capital, Milan, and along highway exits to discourage people from seeking escape on the holiday weekend.
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“This year we cannot gather” for Easter,