COVID-19 lockdowns

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A usually congested highway in Penang, Malaysia deserted during the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Volunteers in Cape Town pack food parcels to distribute to the needy during the pandemic lockdown in South Africa.
A sign usually used for traffic management displays a public health warning in Belfast during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.
At a community quarantine checkpoint in Bohol, Philippines, police officers check a passing jeepney.
Queue in front of a supermarket in Italy caused by social distancing measures and supply shortages during the lockdown.
A screen display in Hefei, China, showing advice on how to contain the pandemic.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of non-pharmaceutical interventions colloquially known as lockdowns (encompassing stay-at-home orders, curfews, quarantines, cordons sanitaires and similar societal restrictions) have been implemented in numerous countries and territories around the world. These restrictions were established to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.[1] By April 2020, about half of the world's population was under some form of lockdown, with more than 3.9 billion people in more than 90 countries or territories having been asked or ordered to stay at home by their governments.[2] Although similar disease control measures have been used for hundreds of years, the scale seen in the 2020s is thought to be unprecedented.[3]

Research and case studies have shown that lockdowns are effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19, therefore flattening the curve.[4] The World Health Organization's recommendation on curfews and lockdowns is that they should be short-term measures to reorganize, regroup, rebalance resources, and protect health workers who are exhausted. To achieve a balance between restrictions and normal life, the WHO recommends a response to the pandemic that consists of strict personal hygiene, effective contact tracing, and isolating when ill.[5]

Countries and territories around the world have enforced lockdowns of varying stringency. Some include total movement control while others have enforced restrictions based on time. In many cases, only essential businesses are allowed to remain open. Schools, universities and colleges have closed either on a nationwide or local basis in 63 countries, affecting approximately 47 percent of the world's student population.[6][7]

Beginning with the first lockdown in China's Hubei province in January 2020 and nationwide in Italy in March, lockdowns continued to be implemented in many countries throughout 2020 and 2021. On 24 March 2020, the entire 1.3 billion population of India was ordered to stay at home during its lockdown, making it the largest of the pandemic.[8] Pandemic restrictions have had social and economic impacts, and have been met with protests in some territories..


Several researchers, from modelling and demonstrated examples, have concluded that lockdowns are effective at reducing the spread of, and deaths caused by, COVID-19.[4][9][10][11][12][13] Lockdowns are thought to be most effective at containing or preventing COVID-19 community transmission, healthcare costs and deaths when implemented earlier, with greater stringency, and when not lifted too early.[14][15][16][17][18]

A study investigating the spread based on studies of the most common symptoms such as loss of taste and smell in France, Italy and the UK showed a marked decrease in new symptoms just a few days after the start of confinement on the countries (Italy and France) with the strongest lockdowns.[19] Modelling on the United States pandemic suggested "the pandemic would have been almost completely suppressed from significantly taking off if the lockdown measures were implemented two weeks earlier" and that the second wave would have been less severe had the lockdown lasted another two weeks.[14]

The stringent lockdown in Hubei in early 2020 proved effective at controlling the COVID-19 outbreak in China.[12][20] The relatively high number of cases and deaths in Sweden, which has kept much of its society open during the pandemic, when compared to its neighbors with comparable demographics Norway, Denmark and Finland that did enforce lockdowns, is thought to at least partly attributable to this difference in policy.[21][22][23][24][25] Similarly, modelling on Australian data concluded that achieving zero community transmission through a strict lockdown lowers healthcare and economic costs compared to less stringent measures that allow transmission to continue, and warned that early relaxation of restrictions have greater costs.[16][17] This "zero community transmission" approach was adopted in Australia, and a strict four month lockdown in the state of Victoria during an outbreak in Melbourne, combined with other measures, averted a wider outbreak in the country.[26] New Zealand and Vietnam's successful containment measures have included targeted lockdowns.[27][28]

Voluntary versus mandatory restrictions[edit]

A member of the Peruvian Army with a police dog enforces curfew on 31 March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru

One study led by an economist at the University of Chicago found that involuntary lockdowns had little impact, with voluntary distancing making up nearly 90% of the fall in consumer traffic as people feared the virus itself.[29] Similarly, a NBER study found stay-at-home orders increased staying at home by just 5–10%.[30] Another study from Yale University found that most social distancing was voluntary, driven primarily by "media coverage of morbidity and mortality."[31]

On the other hand, some studies have argued[11][32] that coercive measures probably decreased interactions, while accepting that most of the reduction may have been voluntary. One of those two studies, by Flaxman et al., has been criticized, among other things for having a country-specific adjustment factor, without which the model would predict a massive number of deaths for Sweden.[33] One widely cited economic simulation asserting that shelter-in-place orders reduced total cases three-fold, however, held voluntary distancing constant.[34] Another study found a 30% difference among border-counties where stay-at-home orders were imposed.[35]

Another study that compared the impact of 'less restrictive interventions' on the spread of COVID-19 in Sweden and South Korea, with mandatory stay-at home orders in 8 other countries, such as France and Spain, did not find evidence for greater disease control in the countries with more restrictions.[36] However, the findings of the study have been questioned due to its numerous limitations, including the small sample size of countries.[37]

Some research has also found that an "advisory" approach is not adequate to control COVID-19 outbreaks. An analysis of an outbreak in northern Italy found that an effective reduction in community transmission occurred during a strict national lockdown, and that earlier less stringent measures were ineffective at reducing mobility to a level low enough to reduce the spread of COVID-19.[15]

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Google has consistently collected data on movements, showing rapid declines in public activity long before legal restrictions were imposed.[38] An April poll found that 93% of Americans voluntarily chose to only leave home when necessary, regardless of legal restrictions.[39]


A review of 348 articles concluded there was unanimous acknowledgement of the importance of non-pharmaceutical interventions in controlling the spread of COVID-19. However, current research also acknowledges high societal costs.[4]

Related to epidemiology[edit]

The consensus of epidemiological evidence supports generalised non-pharmaceutical interventions to curb the spread of COVID-19.[4][40][41]

During the early stages of the pandemic in Europe and the United States, statistical modelling which advised that restrictions were needed to prevent a large number of deaths were used as the basis for lockdowns.[13] This includes an Imperial College projection, led by epidemiologist Neil Ferguson.[42] Despite some criticisms, academics defended the Imperial projection as fundamentally sound, while admitting the code was "a buggy mess."[43]

A notable opponent of lockdowns has included Sweden's state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, who has frequently criticised the strategy.[44] The Swedish government's approach has included minimal restrictions and has been controversial in part due to the relatively high death toll due to widespread transmission.[45][46] However, the Swedish government began considering enacting a lockdown in early 2021.[47][48]

While arguing in August 2020 for the need for further lockdowns in the United States, physicians Ranu Dhillon and Abraar Karan argued for "smarter lockdowns" that impose restrictions on areas with high levels of transmission, and to increase support to vulnerable populations in these locations to offset the economic costs.[49]

A small number of medical experts signed the Great Barrington Declaration in October 2020 which called for "Focused Protection" on high risk groups and minimal restrictions on the general population to achieve herd immunity through COVID-19 infection. However, the majority of medical experts and the WHO have strongly criticised this proposed strategy for its lack of scientific basis and for being unethical.[41][50][51] The declaration has also attracted controversy over its funding and the authenticity of its signatures.[40][52]

Related to social impacts[edit]

Some commentators have suggested that states' use of emergency powers to curb freedom of assembly and movement are authoritarian and may result in long-term democratic backsliding. Centralization of power by political leadership in Hungary, Poland, China and Cambodia in response to the pandemic have been cited as examples.[53][54][55]

Some researchers have noted that pandemic restrictions have come with mental health costs.[4][56][57][58]

UN Women warned in a April 2020 report that pandemic restrictions exacerbate gender inequalities and have led to an increase in domestic violence.[59] Many women are being forced to ‘lockdown’ at home with their abusers at the same time that services to support survivors are being disrupted or made inaccessible.[60] For instance, in France there was a spike in cases of about 30% since the lockdown in March 2020.[59]

Related to economic impacts[edit]

Economists generally supported increased government funding for mitigation efforts, even at the cost of tolerating a very large economic contraction.[61] They agreed that lockdowns should continue until the threat of resurgence has declined, even when considering only the economic impact.[62] There was consensus, at least in some economic circles, that "severe lockdowns — including closing non-essential businesses and strict limitations on people's movement — are likely to be better for the economy in the medium term than less aggressive measures".[63]

Both the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have published statements noting the impact of the lockdowns on livelihoods and food security, and Dr David Nabarro, WHO Special Envoy on COVID-19 stated in October 2020 that "lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer".[64][65][66]


There have also been a number of protests over responses to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, some of which were specifically in opposition to lockdowns, including in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand. The motivations for and sizes of these protests have varied. Some have been spurred by the economic and social impacts of lockdowns, but have also been associated with misinformation related to the pandemic, conspiracy theories and anti-vaccination.

Table of pandemic lockdowns[edit]

Country / territory Place First lockdown Second lockdown Third lockdown Total length (days) Level
Start date End date Length (days) Start date End date Length (days) Start date End date Length (days)
Albania 2020-03-13[67] 2020-06-01[68] 80 80 National
Algeria Algiers 2020-03-23[69] 2020-05-14[70] 52 52 City
Argentina Greater Buenos Aires 2020-03-19[71] 2020-11-08[72] 234 234 Metropolitan Area
Rest of the country 2020-03-19[71] 2020-05-10[73] 52 2021-05-22[74] 2021-05-30 8 52 National
Armenia 2020-03-24[75] 2020-05-04[76] 41 41 National
Australia Melbourne 52 2020-07-08[a][77][78] 2020-10-27[79] 111 2021-02-12[80] 2021-02-17[81] 5 168 Metropolitan Area
Regional Victoria[b] 2020-08-06[78] 2020-09-16[78] 41 2021-02-12[80] 2021-02-17[81] 5 98 State
South Australia 2020-11-19[82] 2020-11-22[83] 3 55
Brisbane 2021-01-08[84] 2021-01-11[84] 3 2021-03-29[85] 2021-04-01[86] 3 58 Metropolitan Area
Perth 2021-01-31[87] 2021-02-05[87] 5 2021-04-23[88] 2021-04-26[88] 3 57
Peel 2021-01-31[87] 2021-02-05[87] 5 2021-04-23[88] 2021-04-26[88] 3 57 Region
South West 2021-01-31[87] 2021-02-05[87] 5 57
Northern Beaches 2020-12-19[89] 2021-01-10[90] 22 74 Local Government Area
Rest of the country[c] 2020-03-23[91] 2020-05-15[92] 52 National
Austria 2020-03-16[93] 2020-04-13[94] 28 2020-11-03[95] 2020-11-30[95] 27 2020-12-26[96] 2021-02-07[97] 43 98
Azerbaijan 2020-03-31[98] 2020-08-30[98] 152 152
Bangladesh 2020-03-26[99] 2020-05-16[100] 51 2021-04-05[101] 2021-06-16[102] 72 123
Barbados 2020-03-28[103] 2020-05-03[103] 36 36
Belgium 2020-03-18[104] 2020-05-04 [105] 47 2020-11-02[106] 2020-12-14[106] 42 2021-03-27[107] 2021-04-26[108] 30 119
Bermuda 2020-04-04[103] 2020-05-02[109] 28 28
Bhutan 2020-08-11[110] 2020-09-01[111] 21 21
Bolivia 2020-03-22[112] 2020-07-31[113] 131 131
Botswana 2020-04-02[114] 2020-04-30[114] 28 28
Brazil Santa Catarina 2020-03-17[115] 2020-04-07[115] 21 21 State
São Paulo 2020-03-24[116] 2020-05-10[117] 47 47
Bulgaria 2020-03-13[d][121][122] 2020-06-15[e][124][125] 94 2020-11-28 (de facto)[f][127] 2021-01-31[g][127][128] 65 2021-03-22[h][130] 2021-03-31 10 169 National
Cambodia Phnom Penh 2021-04-15[131] 2021-05-05[132] 21 21 Municipality
Ta Khmau
Canada British Columbia 2020-03-18[133] 2020-05-18[134] 61 2020-11-07[135] 2021-01-08[135] 62 123 Province
Ontario 2020-03-17[136][137] 2020-05-14 58 2021-04-03[138] 2021-05-01 28 86
Quebec 2020-12-25[139] 2021-01-11[139] 18[139] 18
Ontario - South 2020-12-26[140] 2021-01-23[140] 28 2021-04-08[141] 2021-06-02[141] 55 83 Region
Ontario - North 2020-12-26[140] 2021-01-09[140] 14 14
Colombia 2020-03-25[142] 2020-06-30[143] 97 97 National
Congo 2020-03-31[144] 2020-04-20[144] 20 20
Costa Rica 2020-03-23[145] 2020-05-01[146] 39 39
Croatia 2020-03-18[147] 2020-05-11 32 2020-12-22[148] 2020-12-29[149] 7 39
Cyprus 2020-03-24[150] 2020-04-13[150] 20 2021-01-10[151] 2021-01-31[151] 21 2021-04-26[152] 2021-05-09[153] 13 54
Czech Republic 2020-03-16[93] 2020-04-12[154] 27 2020-10-22[155] 2021-03-28[155] 174 201
Denmark 2020-03-12[156] 2020-04-13[157] 33 2020-12-25[158] 2021-03-01[159] 66 99
Ecuador 2020-03-16[160] 2020-03-31[160] 15 15
El Salvador 2020-03-12[161] 2020-04-02[161] 21 21
Eritrea 2020-04-02[162] 2020-04-23[162] 21 21
Estonia 2021-03-11[163] 2021-04-11[164] 31 31 National
Fiji Lautoka 2020-03-20[165] 2020-04-07[166] 18 2021-04-19 18 City
Suva 2020-04-03[167] 2020-04-17[168] 14 14
France Nationwide 2020-03-17[169] 2020-05-11[170] 55 2020-10-30[171] 2020-12-15[172] 46 2021-04-04[173] 2021-05-03[174] 29 130 National
Paris 2021-03-19[175] 2021-04-18 30 131 Region
Finland 2021-03-08[176] 2021-03-28[176] 20 20 National
Georgia 2020-03-31[177] 2020-04-21[177] 21 21
Germany Nationwide 2020-03-22[i][179] 2020-04-20[180][181]
to 2020-05-11[182]
29 to 50 2020-11-02[183] 2021-03-01 to 2021-04-19[184][185] 119 to 168 148 to 218
Berchtesgadener Land 2020-10-20[186] 2020-11-03[187] 14 43 to 64 District
Ghana Accra 2020-03-30[188] 2020-04-12[189] 13 13 Metropolitan Area
Greece Nationwide 2020-03-23[190] 2020-05-04[191] 42 2020-11-07[192] 2021-03-22[193] 135 177 National
Thessaloniki 2020-11-03[194] 139 181 Regional unit
Guernsey 2020-03-25[195] 2020-06-20[196] 87 2021-01-23[197] 2021-02-22[198] 30 117 National
Honduras 2020-03-20[199] 2020-05-17[200] 58 58
Hungary 2020-03-28[201] 2020-04-10[201] 13 13
India Nationwide 2020-03-25[202] 2020-06-07[203] 74 74
Bengaluru 2021-04-27[204] 2021-05-09 12 12 Region
Delhi 2021-04-19[205] 2021-05-31[206] 42 42 Region
Haryana 2021-05-03[207] 2021-05-10 7 7 State
Maharashtra 2021-04-14[208] 2021-06-15[209] 62 62 State
Odisha 2021-05-05[210] 2021-05-19 14 14 State
Rajasthan 2021-05-10[211] 2021-06-08[212] 29 29 State
Uttar Pradesh 2021-04-30[213] 2021-05-10[214] 10 10 State
Iran 2020-03-14[215] 2020-04-20[216] 37 37 National
Iraq 2020-03-22[217] 2020-04-11[218] 20 20
Ireland All 26 counties 2020-03-12[j][219][220] 2020-05-18[221] 67 2020-10-21[222] 2020-12-01[223] 41 2020-12-24[k][224] 2021-04-12[225] 119 227
Kildare 2020-08-07[226][227] 2020-08-31[228] 24 24 Regional
Laois 2020-08-21[229] 14 14
Israel Bnei Brak 2020-04-02[230] 2020-04-16[231] 14 30 42 86 City
Nationwide 2020-09-18[232] 2020-10-18[233] 2020-12-27[234] 2021-02-07[235] 72 National
Italy Nationwide 2020-03-09[l][236] 2020-05-18[237] 70 2020-12-24[238][m] 2021-01-06[238] 13 2021-03-15[239] 2021-04-30 46 129 National
Lombardy 2020-11-06[240] 2020-12-03[241] 27 2021-01-17 [242] 2021-01-30 13 110 Region
Piedmont 2020-11-06[240] 2020-12-03[241] 97
Aosta Valley 2020-11-06[240] 2020-12-03[241]
Calabria 2020-11-06[240] 2020-12-03[241]
Sicily 2021-01-17[242] 2021-01-30 13 83
Province of Bolzano 2021-01-17 [242] 2021-01-30 Province
Jamaica Saint Catherine 2020-04-15[243] 2020-04-22[243] 7 7 Parish
Jordan 2020-03-18[244] 2020-04-30[245] 43 2020-11-10[246] 2020-11-15[246] 5 48 National
Kosovo 2020-03-14[247] 2020-05-04 [248] 51 51
Kuwait 2020-05-10[249] 2020-05-31[249] 21 21
Lebanon 2020-03-15[250] 2020-03-28[250] 13 2020-11-14[251] 2020-11-28 14 27
Libya 2020-03-22[252] 2020-06-27[253] 97 97 National
Lithuania 2020-03-16[254] 2020-06-18[255] 94 2020-11-07[256] 2020-11-28 21 115
Madagascar Antananarivo 2020-03-23[257] 2020-04-20[258] 28 28 City
Malaysia 2020-03-18[259] 2020-06-09[260] 83 2021-01-13 2021-02-10 28 2021-06-01[261] 2021-06-14 14 125 National
Mexico Nationwide 2020-03-23[262] 2020-06-01[262] 70 70
Chihuahua 2020-10-23[263] 2020-12-06 44 114 State
Durango 2020-11-03[264] 2020-12-06 33 103
Baja California 2020-12-07 70
Mexico City 2020-12-19[265] 70
State of Mexico 2020-12-19[265] 70
Morelos 2021-01-04 70
Guanajuato 2021-01-04 70
Mongolia 2020-03-10[266] 2020-03-16[266] 6 2020-11-17[267] 2020-12-01 15 21 National
Montenegro Tuzi 2020-03-24[268] 2020-05-05[269] 42 42 Municipality
Morocco 2020-03-19[270] 2020-06-10[271] 83 83 National
Namibia 2020-03-27[n][272] 2020-05-04[273] 38 38
Nepal Nepal Nationwide 2020-03-24[274] 2020-07-21[275] 120 120
Kathmandu 2020-08-20[276] 2020-09-09[276] 21 141 City
Netherlands 2020-03-15[277] 2020-04-06[278] 22 2020-12-15[279] 2021-03-02[280] 77 99 National
New Zealand Nationwide 2020-03-26[281] 2020-05-14[282] 49 49 National
Auckland 2020-08-12[283] 2020-10-07[284] 56 2021-02-14[285] 2021-02-17[286] 3 108 Region
Nigeria Abuja 2020-03-30[287] 2020-04-12[287] 13 13 City
Ogun State
Northern Cyprus 2020-03-30[288] 2020-05-04[289] 35 35 National
North Korea Kaesong 2020-07-25[290] 2020-08-14[291] 20 20 City
Oman Muscat 2020-04-10[292] 2020-05-29[293] 49 49 Governorate
Jalan Bani Bu Ali 2020-04-16[294] TBD[294] 423 423 Province
Pakistan 2020-03-24[295] 2020-05-09[296] 46 2021-05-08[297] 2021-05-18 10 46 National
Panama 2020-03-25[298] 2020-05-31
(downgraded to a night and weekend curfew)[299]
67 67
Papua New Guinea 2020-03-24[300] 2020-04-07[300] 14 14
Paraguay 2020-03-20[301] 2020-05-03[302] 44 44
Peru 2020-03-16[303] 2020-06-30[304] 106 106
Philippines Cebu 2020-03-27[305] 2020-05-15[o][306]
to 2020-05-31[p][307]
49 to 65 49 to 65 Province
Davao Region 2020-03-19[308] 2020-05-15[306] 57 57 Region
Luzon 2020-03-15[q][309] 2020-04-30[r][310]
to 2020-05-15[s][311]
to 2020-05-31[p][307]
46 to 61 to 77 2020-08-04[312][t] 2020-08-18[312][t] 15 61 to 92 Island group
Soccsksargen 2020-03-23[308] 2020-05-15[313] 53 53 Region
Poland 2020-03-13[314] 2020-04-11[315] 29 2020-12-28[316] 2021-01-17[316] 20 2021-03-20[317] 2021-04-25[318] 36 85 National
Portugal 2020-03-19[319] 2020-04-02[315] 14 2021-01-15[320] 2021-03-15[321] 59 73
Qatar Doha Industrial Area 2020-03-11[322] 2020-06-15[323] 96 96 Industrial park
Romania 2020-03-25[324] 2020-05-12[325] 48 48 National
Russia Moscow 2020-03-30[326] 2020-05-12[327][328] 43 43 Metropolitan area
Rest of the country[u] 2020-03-28[329] 2020-04-30[329] 33 33 National
Rwanda 2020-03-21[330] 2020-04-19[331] 29 29
Samoa 2020-03-26[332] 2020-04-08[333] 13 13
San Marino 2020-03-14[334] 2020-05-05[335] 52 52
Saudi Arabia Jeddah 2020-03-29[336] 2020-06-21[337] 84 84 City
Mecca 2020-03-26[336] 87 87
Qatif 2020-03-09[338] 104 104 Area
Riyadh 2020-03-26[336] 87 87 City
Serbia 2020-03-15[315] 2020-04-21[339]
to 2020-05-04[340]
37 to 50 37 to 50 National
Singapore 2020-04-07[341] 2020-06-01[342] 55 2021-05-16[343] 2021-06-13 28 83
South Africa 2020-03-26[344] 2020-04-30[345] 35 35
Spain 2020-03-14[346] 2020-05-09[347] 56 56
Sri Lanka 2020-03-18[348] 2020-06-21[349] 95 95
Switzerland 2020-03-17[350] 2020-04-27[351] 41 2021-01-18[352] 2021-03-01[353] 42 83
Thailand 2020-03-25[354] 2020-05-31[355] 67 67
Trinidad and Tobago 2020-03-17[356] 2020-03-31[356] 14 14
Tunisia 2020-03-22[357] 2020-04-19[358] 28 28
Turkey 2020-04-23[359] 2020-04-27[359] 4 4 Only in 30 metropolitan cities and Zonguldak.
Nationwide 2021-04-29[360] 2021-05-17[361] 18 18 National
Ukraine 2020-03-17[315] 2020-04-24[315] 38 38
United Arab Emirates 2020-03-26[362] 2020-04-17[363] 22 22
United Kingdom England 2020-03-23[364] 2020-07-04[365] 103 2020-11-05[366] 2020-12-02[366] 27 2021-01-05[367] 2021-03-29[368] 83 213
Scotland 2020-06-29[369] 98 2020-12-26[370] 2021-04-02[371] 97 195
Northern Ireland 2020-07-03[372] 102 2020-11-27[373] 2020-12-11[373] 14 2020-12-26[374] 2021-04-12[375] 107 223 Country
Wales 2020-07-13[376] 112 2020-10-23[377] 2020-11-09[377] 17 2020-12-20[378] 2021-03-13[379] 83 212
North West 2020-12-31[380] 2021-03-29 88 88 Region
North East 2020-12-31[381] 2021-03-29 88 88
East Midlands 2020-12-31[382] 2021-03-29 88 88
West Midlands 2020-12-31[383] 2021-03-29 88 88
Norfolk 2020-12-26[384] 2021-03-29 93 93 County
Suffolk 2020-12-26[385] 2021-03-29 93 93
Cambridgeshire 2020-12-26[386] 2021-03-29 93 93
Essex 2020-12-26[387] 2021-03-29 93 93
London area 2020-12-20[388] 2021-03-29 99 99 City
Kent & South East 2020-12-20[388] 2021-03-29 99 99 Region
Leicester 2020-06-30[389] 2020-07-24[390] 24 24 County
Glasgow 2020-11-20[391] 2020-12-11[391] 21 21
East Renfrewshire
East Dunbartonshire
West Dunbartonshire
North Lanarkshire
South Lanarkshire
East Ayrshire
South Ayrshire
West Lothian
United States California 2020-03-19[392] 2020-05-08[393] 89 2020-12-07[394] 2020-12-28[394] 21 110 State
Connecticut 2020-03-23[395] 2020-04-22[396] 30 30 State
Illinois 2020-03-21[397] 2020-05-30[398] 70 70
Kansas City in Kansas 2020-03-24[399] 2020-04-19[400] 26 26 City
Massachusetts 2020-03-24[401] 2020-05-04[401] 41 41 State
Michigan 2020-03-24[402] 2020-04-13[396] 20 20
New York 2020-03-22[403] 2020-06-13[404] 83 83
Oregon 2020-03-24[405] 2020-05-15[406] 53 53
Wisconsin 2020-03-24[407] 2020-05-13[408] 50 50
Venezuela 2020-03-17[409] 2020-05-13[410] 57 57 National
Vietnam Nationwide 2020-04-01[411] 2020-04-22[412] 21 21
Da Nang 2020-07-28[413] 2020-09-05[414] 39 60 City
Hai Duong 2021-02-16[415] 2021-03-02 14 35 Province, Chi Linh city lockdown began from 28 January.
Bac Ninh 2021-05-18[416][417] 23 4 districts and 1 city
Bac Giang 2021-05-18[418][419] 23 6 districts
Zimbabwe 2020-03-30[420] 2020-05-02[421] 33 33 National
Outbreak ongoing: Lockdown data as of 13 June 2021


  1. ^ Stage 3 lockdown imposed on 8 July; Stage 4 lockdown imposed on 2 August 2020
  2. ^ Applies for all Regional Victoria outside Melbourne
  3. ^ Applies for further measures in each Australian state and territory
  4. ^ Initially to last until 13 April 2020, included closures of universities, schools, restaurants and other establishments, a ban on mass gatherings, suspension of sports competitions for more than two months, certain temporary restrictions on the free movement of citizens, but no strict stay-at-home-order.[118] A number of lockdown measures were already eased or lifted in April[119] and May 2020.[120]
  5. ^ Depending on the definition for a lockdown, some sources such as Politico Europe consider it to have ended by 9 May, with a total duration of 57 days.[123]
  6. ^ Closures of all educational institutions, restaurants and other establishments, a ban on most cultural events, all excursions and forms of group tourism, children forbidden to participate in organized sports events, described as a "soft" or "partial" lockdown and officially entered into force at 23:30 on 27 November.[126]
  7. ^ The lockdown was initially to end on 21 December 2020, but was subsequently extended until 31 January 2021, though with a few of the restrictions relaxed, such as children in kindergartens and in grades 1-4 being able to attend in-person classes from January 2021.
  8. ^ Preceded by some measures on the regional level.[129]
  9. ^ Lockdown was started in Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria on 20 March 2020. Two days later, it was expanded to the whole of Germany[178]
  10. ^ A national stay-at-home order was officially declared on 27 March
  11. ^ A full third lockdown was declared from 30 December and was repeatedly extended.
  12. ^ Lockdown was first started in Northern Italy on 8 March 2020, then expanded to the rest of Italy the following day
  13. ^ The lockdown was suspended on 28, 29, 30 December 2020 and 4 January 2021
  14. ^ Lockdown was started in the regions of Erongo and Khomas but effectively enforced countrywide. On 14 April the lockdown was extended to 4 May and to all of Namibia.
  15. ^ Except in Cebu City only where it was extended to 16 days
  16. ^ a b Lockdown was extended to areas under high risk COVID-19 zones
  17. ^ Lockdown was started in Metro Manila, but expanded to the rest of Luzon two days later, 17 March 2020
  18. ^ In most Luzon areas only, except Metro Manila and selected areas of Luzon are on high risk COVID-19 zones
  19. ^ Lockdown was extended to Metro Manila and remaining areas of Luzon
  20. ^ a b Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal only.
  21. ^ Applies for mandatory holidays and further measures in each Russian region

In the table pandemic lockdowns are defined as the shutdown of parts of the economy,[422] due to non-pharmaceutical anti-pandemic measures and are enforceable by law like:

These measures are considered to have caused the COVID-19 recession in 2020.[423] The table does not contain:

The pandemic has resulted in the largest number of shutdowns/lockdowns worldwide at the same time in history.[citation needed]. By 26 March, 1.7 billion people worldwide were under some form of lockdown,[424] which increased to 3.9 billion people by the first week of April – more than half of the world's population.[425][426]

Restrictions first began in China,[427] with other countries in East Asia like Vietnam soon following it in implementing widespread containment measures. Much of Europe, North America and Africa took much longer to bring in tough measures. Lockdowns between and within nations are of varying stringency.[428]

By mid April, nearly 300 million people, or about 90 per cent of the population, were under some form of lockdown in the United States,[429] around 100 million in the Philippines,[430] about 59 million in South Africa,[431] and 1.3 billion were under lockdown in India; the largest of all lockdowns.[432][433]

By the end of April, around 300 million people were under lockdown in various countries of Europe, including but not limited to Italy, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom; while around 200 million people were under lockdown in Latin America.[430]

Countries and territories with lockdowns[edit]


On 19 March 2020, President Alberto Fernández announced a mandatory lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. It would take effect from 20 March 2020 until 31 March 2020.[434] It was among the strictest measures in the region.[435]

The "preventive and mandatory social isolation" included the following measures:[436]

  • Mandatory lockdown for all residents,
  • The move of Malvinas Day from 2 April to 31 March 2020,
  • Allowance of purchases of foods, medicines and first need products,
  • Transit control on the streets by Naval Prefecture, National Gendarmerie and Federal Police,
  • Penalties to those that cannot justify their transit on the streets according to the Penal Code,
  • Exception of the lockdown to state, health, food production, drugs production and oil industry workers and security forces,
  • Creation of a government department that works on the pandemic and economic issues, and
  • Guidelines to relieve the situation for non-formal sector.

On 29 March 2020, Fernández announced that the mandatory lockdown would be extended until 12 April 2020.[437]

The announcement of the lockdown was generally well received, although there were concerns with its economic impact in the already delicate state of Argentina's economy, with analysts predicting at least 3% GDP decrease in 2020.[438][439] Image of Fernández increased during the first weeks of the lockdown according to some surveys,[440] but later suffered a slightly decrease in April 2020 due to the prolongation of the lockdown.[441][442][443][444][445] The University of Buenos Aires also made a survey, in which most people agreed to the measures taken by the president.[446]

Fernández announced a one-time emergency payment of 10,000 pesos (US$154) to lower-income individuals whose income was affected by the lockdown, including retirees.[447] Because banks were excluded in the list of businesses that were considered essential in Fernandez's lockdown decree, they remained closed until the Central Bank announced banks would open during a weekend starting on 3 April 2020.[448]


A number of Australian states, territories, and cities have implemented lockdowns in response to the pandemic. The country entered a general nationwide lockdown on 23 March 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic,[449] which was lifted on 15 May.[450]

The state of Victoria, particularly its capital city of Melbourne, the country's second most populous city with five million residents, entered an extended lockdown on 7 July 2020 in response to a rapidly growing community outbreak. Initial measures included the closure of all non-essential services, including retail and gyms. Hospitality establishments were permitted to open in take-away and delivery capacities only. Schools and childcare facilities were also ordered to close. Face coverings were made mandatory as of 23 July 2020, with a fine of $200 AUD for non-compliance to those above 12 years of age, although formal exemptions could be acquired. Initially scheduled to last six weeks, restrictions were tightened further on 2 August after cases continued to grow, including a ban on travel further than a five kilometre radius from place of residence, a nighttime curfew of 8 PM to 5 AM, a one-hour limit on outdoor exercise, a one-person per day limit on shopping for essentials, and public gatherings limited to a maximum of two people.[451] Restrictions were progressively eased as the case rate declined, and were completely lifted on 28 October. With a total duration of 112 days, the Victorian lockdown was the longest continuous period of COVID-19 lockdown globally as of October 2020.[452]

Brief "snap lockdowns" in response to new clusters, particularly of the UK (Alpha variant) and South African (Beta variant) strains, have been implemented at various times across the country, including in Adelaide (19–22 November),[453][454] Sydney's Northern Beaches (19 December 2020 – 10 January 2021),[455][456] Greater Brisbane (8–11 January[457][458] and 29 March–1 April[459][460]), Perth, Peel, (31 January–5 February[461][462] and 23–26 April[463][464]) and the South West of WA (31 January–5 February), and across Victoria (13–17 February)[465] and then its fourth lockdown (28 May–4 June[466][467]) which was then extended to end as of 10 June, in relation to what was found to be the Delta variant.[468]


On April 15, 2021, Cambodia's government enacted a strict stay-at-home order across the entirety of Phnom Penh and Ta Khmau in response to the country's largest COVID-19 outbreak of the pandemic. Certain districts were declared as "red zones", banning people from leaving their homes except for medical emergencies.[469][470][471] Sihanoukville also entered a lockdown on April 24.[472]


On January 25, 2020, the first identified presumptive case in Canada was a 56-year-old male who had travelled to Wuhan, China, before returning to Toronto on 22 January.[473] Canada issued a travel advisory against non-essential travel to China due to the outbreak, including a regional travel advisory to avoid all travel to the province of Hubei.

Federal health officials stated that the risk in Canada was low.

On January 26, 2020, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam tweeted, "There is no clear evidence that this virus is spread easily from person to person. The risk to Canadians remains low."[474]

Three days later, on January 29, Dr. Tam told Canadians that "It's going to be rare, but we are expecting cases."[475][476]

On February 1, the position of the prime minister and the administration remained that it would be discriminatory to exclude travellers from China, the source (and, at the time, still the epicentre) of the disease.[477][478]

During March, Canadian provinces implemented lockdowns in response to COVID-19.

Ontario, the country's most populous province, had its first provincewide lockdown starting on December 26, 2020.[479] The lockdown was strengthened with a stay-at-home order effective January 14, 2021,[480] and reopened on a regional basis starting February 10.[481] As a result of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the province caused by SARS-CoV-2 variants, the government of Ontario once again announced a four-week provincewide shutdown effective April 3.[482] This shutdown was once again strengthened with another 28-day stay-at-home order starting April 8, in order to quickly combat the urgent crisis in the province's hospital capacity being caused by the variants.[483]

The city of Toronto, Ontario is considered to have the longest continuous COVID-19 lockdown of any major city in the world.[484]


China was the first country to enforce the quarantine and lockdown of cities and later whole provinces in late January. Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping said he personally authorized the unprecedented lockdown of Wuhan and other cities beginning on 23 January.[485] Although such measures are a very old tool of epidemic control,[486][3] their use at the scale of a large city such as Wuhan or the even larger scale of provinces was controversial among experts at the time, with questions about their effectiveness[487][488][489] and their ethics.[3][490][491] Some public health experts, while not always condemning the measure, raised the issue of the inevitable psychological toll such measures would have.[492][493][494] An ex-World Health Organization (WHO) official who headed the organization's Western Pacific Region during the SARS outbreak said that "the containment of a city [hadn't] been done in the history of international public health policy".[488] The WHO called the decision to quarantine Wuhan "new to science".[495] By early April, all lockdowns had ended or relaxed to a certain degree as the cases started to dwindle and the outbreak had come under control.[427][496]


On 19 March 2020, Fiji confirmed its first case in Lautoka. In response, the Government of Fiji ordered the lockdown of the city on 20 March with closures of all schools and non-essential services all over the country.[497] On 3 April 2020, Fiji's capital, Suva, went into lockdown after confirming two new cases. More than 300,000 residents were confined to their homes and all non-essential services in the city was closed for two weeks.[498]

On 19 April 2021, Nadi and Lautoka went into lockdown after recording its first community transmission in one year.[499]


From 17 March 2020,[500] all people in France were required to complete and carry an exemption form to leave their homes and can be fined for non-essential journeys.[500] Essential journeys include shopping for food, travelling to and from work, accessing healthcare, and exercising within 1 km of the home for up to 1 hour. Police around the country had set up road blocks to check people who were out and about had good reason and that their exemption declarations were in order. These measures were lifted on 11 May 2020, with remaining restrictions on travel further than 100 km away from one's residence. The latter restrictions were lifted on 2 June 2020.

On 28 October, president Emmanuel Macron announced a second lockdown until at least 1 December 2020. During this second lockdown, schools remain open and more industries can keep operating (construction, public services...). Like the first lockdown, citizens need to sign their certificates to can go around within 1 km up to hour per day.[501] Fines are 135 euros the 1st time, 200 euros for 2 times within 15 days and 3750 euros and 6 months jail sentence for 3 times within 30 days.[502]


On 15 March, at 10 pm, President Nana Akufo-Addo banned all public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, church activities and other related events to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at a press briefing on the state of COVID-19. Basic schools, senior high schools and universities, both public and private, have also been closed. Only BECE and WASSCE candidates were permitted to remain in school under social distancing protocols.[503]

On 30 March, the partial lock down of Accra and Kumasi took effect.[504] Only Members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary; and some services such as those that were involved in the production, distribution and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and plastic packages, media and telecommunications were exempted from the restrictions.[505][506] In April 2020, At a press briefing, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, announced the commencement of local production of nose masks as part of efforts to arrest the spread of the pandemic.[507] According to the new Executive Instrument, E.I. 164, signed by the President on 15 June 2020, people who refuse to wear face masks in public could face jail terms of between 4–10 years or a fine of between GHS12,000 (approx US$2,065) and GHS60,000 (approx US$10,320) or both would be made. This came after the mandatory wearing of nose masks [508] On Saturday 21 March 2020, President Akufo-Addo announced certain measures restricting movement under the newly enacted Imposition of Restrictions Act 1012 of 2020, in accordance with article 21 of the Constitution of Ghana.[509]

Traveling to Ghana from countries which had recorded over 200 positive COVID-19 cases was strongly discouraged with non-admittance of such travellers; this restriction did not however apply to Ghanaian citizens and people with resident permits.[510]

All of the country's borders were later closed from midnight of Sunday 22 March 2020. Passport services were also suspended.[511]


Lockdown in Lutyens' Delhi

On the evening of 24 March 2020, the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, limiting movement of the entire 1.38 billion (138 crore) population of India as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic in India.[512] It was ordered after a 14-hour voluntary public curfew on 22 March, followed by enforcement of a series of regulations in the country's COVID-19 affected regions.[513][514] The lockdown was placed when the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases in India was approximately 500.[512] Upon its announcement, a mass movement people across the country was described as the largest since the partition of India in 1947.[515] Observers stated that the lockdown had slowed the growth rate of the pandemic by 6 April to a rate of doubling every six days,[516] and by 18 April, to a rate of doubling every eight days.[517] As the end of the first lockdown period approached, state governments and other advisory committees recommended extending the lockdown.[518] The governments of Odisha and Punjab extended the state lockdowns to 1 May.[519] Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal and Telangana followed suit.[520][521] On 14 April, Prime minister Narendra Modi extended the nationwide lockdown until 3 May, on written recommendation of governors and lieutenant governors of all the states, with a conditional relaxations after 20 April for the regions where the spread had been contained or was minimal.[522]

On 1 May, the Government of India extended the nationwide lockdown further by two weeks until 17 May. The Government divided all the districts into three zones based on the spread of the virus—green, red, and orange—with relaxations applied accordingly.[523] On 17 May, the lockdown was further extended till 31 May by the National Disaster Management Authority.[524]

On 30 May, it was announced that lockdown restrictions were to be lifted from then onwards, while the ongoing lockdown would be further extended till 30 June for only the containment zones. Services would be resumed in a phased manner starting from 8 June. It was termed as "Unlock 1.0".[525] Modi later clarified that the lockdown phase in the country was over and that 'unlock' had already begun.[526]

The second phase of unlock, Unlock 2.0, was announced for the period of 1 to 31 July, with more ease in restrictions.[527] Unlock 3.0 was announced for August.[528] Similarly, Unlock 4.0 was announced for September[529] and Unlock 5.0 for the month of October.[530] In the same way, Unlock 6.0 was announced for the month of November,[531] Unlock 7.0 was announced for the month of December.[532] Due to the second wave of infection in the country, several state governments like Uttar Pradesh[533] and Delhi[534] have announced partial lockdowns in April 2021.


Muslims in Indonesia pray in congregation while imposing to strict protocols during the global pandemic. Physical distancing and the wearing of masks in public is mandatory in Indonesia during the COVID-19 outbreak, including in places of worship.

Large-scale social restrictions or LSSR[535] (Indonesian: Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar or PSBB) are currently in place in Indonesia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions are implemented by local governments with the approval of the Ministry of Health. It includes measures such as closing public places, schools, restricting public transport, and limiting travel to and from the restricted provinces regions. On 7 January 2021, the Ministry of Home Affairs decreed the rename of the measure in Java and Bali into the enforcement of limitations on community activities or ELCA[536] (Indonesian: Pemberlakuan Pembatasan Kegiatan Masyarakat or PPKM).[537]

As of , the restrictions have been approved or are in place in all 34 provinces in the country.[538]


There were night/day curfews put periodically in place in yellow and orange coded regions.[539]


On 12 March, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the closure of all schools, colleges and childcare facilities in Ireland until the end of August.[540][541] On 27 March, Varadkar announced a national stay-at-home order for at least two weeks; the public were ordered to stay at home in all circumstances. All non-essential shops and services, including all pubs, bars, hotels and nightclubs closed and all public and private gatherings of any number of people was banned.[542][543] The Garda Síochána (Irish police) were given power to enforce the measures, which were repeatedly extended until 18 May.[544]

A roadmap to easing restrictions in Ireland that includes five stages was adopted by the government on 1 May 2020 and subsequently published online.[545][546] On 5 June, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a series of changes to the government's roadmap of easing COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland, which he summed up as: "Stay Local".[547] The fourth and final phase of easing COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland was initially scheduled to take place on 20 July, but was repeatedly postponed until 31 August at the earliest.[548][549]

On 7 August, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced a regional lockdown and a series of measures for counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly following significant increases of COVID-19 cases in the three counties, which came into effect from midnight and will remain in place for two weeks.[550][551][552] On 21 August, localised restrictions in Laois and Offaly were lifted, but was extended for another two weeks in Kildare.[553] Restrictions in Kildare were lifted by the government with immediate effect on 31 August.[554]

On 15 September, the Government of Ireland announced a medium-term plan for living with COVID-19 that includes five levels of restrictions, with the entire country at Level 2 and specific restrictions in Dublin.[555][556]

All non-essential businesses and services closed and all public and private gatherings of any number of people was banned again on 21 October following the Government's announcement to move the entire country to Level 5 lockdown restrictions for six weeks until 1 December.[557][558][559] On 27 November, the Government of Ireland agreed to ease restrictions from 1 December.[560][561][562]

A third wave of COVID-19 arrived in Ireland on 21 December.[563][564][565] The Government of Ireland acted swiftly and on 22 December, Level 5 lockdown restrictions (subject to a number of adjustments) were announced, which came into effect from 24 December (Christmas Eve) until 12 January 2021 at the earliest.[566][567][568]

All non-essential businesses and services closed and all public and private gatherings of any number of people was banned again on 31 December (New Year's Eve) following the Government's announcement to move the entire country to full Level 5 lockdown restrictions from 30 December until 31 January 2021 at the earliest, in an attempt to get a third surge in cases of COVID-19 under control.[569][570][571] On 26 January, the Government extended the Level 5 lockdown restrictions until 5 March.[572][573][574] On 23 February, the Government extended the Level 5 lockdown restrictions for another six weeks until 5 April (Easter Monday) at the earliest, while its new revised Living with COVID-19 plan was published.[575][576][577] On 30 March, the Government announced a phased easing of restrictions from Monday 12 April.[578][579][580] On 29 April, the Government announced a reopening plan for the country throughout May and June from 10 May.[581] On 28 May, the Government announced a further reopening plan for the country throughout June, July and August from 2 June.[582]


Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, empty during the lockdown

On 9 March 2020, the government of Italy under Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a national quarantine, restricting the movement of the population except for necessity, work, and health circumstances, in response to the growing pandemic of COVID-19 in the country. Additional lockdown restrictions mandated the temporary closure of non-essential shops and businesses. This followed a restriction announced on the previous day which affected sixteen million people in the whole region of Lombardy and in fourteen largely-neighbouring provinces in Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Piedmont and Marche, and prior to that a smaller-scale lockdown of ten municipalities in the province of Lodi and one in the province of Padua that had begun in late February. The restrictions were loosened in May 2020.

The lockdown measures, despite being widely approved by the public opinion,[583] were also described as the largest suppression of constitutional rights in the history of the republic.[584] Nevertheless, Article 16 of the Constitution states that travel restrictions may be established for reasons of health or security.[585]


Malaysia introduced the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) on 18 March 2020, which was initially announced to last to 14 April but was extended several times. The MCO prohibited mass gatherings, movement within the country, and most industries and all education institutions were ordered to close. Extended Movement Control Orders (EMCO) were implemented in areas where suspected superspreading events or widespread transmission had occurred. Royal Malaysian Police were mobilized to enforce restrictions.[586][587] These restrictions were later eased under the "Conditional MCO" (CMCO), which maintained some restrictions on assembly and movement but allowed some sectors to reopen[588] which was later further relaxed to the "Recovery MCO" (RMCO) nationwide.[589] Localized CMCOs restrictions were introduced in the states of Sabah and Selangor were later introduced in response to outbreaks in those states.[590] The MCO was reinstated nationwide in January 2021.[591]


In September 2020, Myanmar introduced a strict stay-at-home order and cordon sanitaire for the entirety of the country's largest city Yangon amid a major local outbreak. All non-essential businesses were ordered to close. The city's 4 million residents were given less than 24 hours notice before the lockdown came into effect.[592][593]


Beginning 27 March, a 21-day lockdown of the regions of Erongo and Khomas was announced.[594] On 14 April the lockdown was extended to 4 May. It now officially applied to all regions, although the stay-at-home order was already enforced countrywide. Only essential businesses remained open. Schools were closed, parliamentary sessions suspended, and generally all gatherings of more than 10 people were prohibited.[595] Formal and informal bars were closed and the sale of alcohol prohibited. This "stage 1" of the lockdown was in force until 4 May 2020. From then on, regulations are to be gradually eased.[596]


On 19 March, the government declared suspension of all classes[597] and postponement of all academic examinations including the Secondary Education Examination until 12 April, the end of the Month of Chaitra, the last month of Nepali calendar year when all schools hold the final examinations.[598] Tribhuvan University and the Public Service Commission also postponed all their examinations.[599]

All government services and private offices except those providing essential services were closed.[600][601] The House of Representatives meeting was postponed.[602] The National Assembly was suspended indefinitely.[603] A full-bench meeting of the Supreme Court presided over by the Chief Justice decided to halt all non-urgent proceedings in courts across the country.[604][605]

On 23 March, Kailali District declared an indefinite lock-down effective from 2 pm.[606] Arghakhanchi District also declared an indefinite lock-down.[607] The country-wide lockdown came into effect on 24 March.[608]

There were only two confirmed cases from 610 RT-qPCR tests and no fatalities when the government introduced nationwide lockdown but these number increased to 17,994 positive cases and 40 deaths at the end of lockdown.[609] The spatial distribution clearly shows that the cases were rapidly spreading from the southern part of the country where most points of entry and exit from India are located.[609]

New Zealand[edit]

On 23 March 2020, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised New Zealand's COVID-19 alert level[610] to three and announced the closure of all schools beginning on that day, and two days later moved to four at 11:59 p.m. on 25 March 2020 – a nationwide lockdown. While all sporting matches and events as well as non-essential services such as pools, bars, cafes, restaurants, playgrounds closed, essential services such as supermarkets, petrol stations, and health services remained open.[611][612][613]

The alert level was moved back down to Level 3 at 11:59 pm on 27 April, and moved to Level 2 at 11:59 pm on 13 May, lifting the rest of the lockdown restrictions while maintaining physical distancing.[614] On 8 June, Prime Minister Ardern announced that New Zealand would be entering into Alert Level 1 at midnight on 9 June, lifting restrictions on daily life, business activities, mass gatherings and public transportation. However, the country's borders would remain closed to most international travel.[615]

Following a new outbreak consisting of four cases of community transmission in Auckland on 11 August, the Government placed the Auckland Region on a Level 3 lockdown from 12:00 am on 12 August while the rest of the country move to Level 2 at the same time.[616][617][618] On 30 August, Prime Minister Ardern announced that Auckland would enter into "Alert Level 2.5" from 11:59pm on that night while the rest of the country would remain on Level 2. Under Level 2.5, all social gatherings including birthday parties will be limited to ten people; masks will be mandatory for all Aucklanders using public transportation; and aged care facilities will be operating under strict conditions. The only public gatherings allowed in Auckland are funerals and tangihanga, which will be limited to 50 people.[619][620]


Community quarantines in the Philippines (as of June 1, 2021)
  Modified enhanced community quarantine
  General community quarantine
  Modified general community quarantine

COVID-19 community quarantines in the Philippines are series of stay-at-home orders and cordon sanitaire measures implemented by the government of the Philippines through its Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

The strictest of these community quarantines is the "enhanced community quarantine" (ECQ), which effectively is a total lockdown.


Map of federal subjects that have announced the "self-isolation regime".
  Stay-at-home order
  Partial restrictions or recommendations
Playground closed for quarantine, 7 April 2020

On 28 March, Chechen authorities urged the population of the republic to stay at their places of permanent residence, and banned entry to Grozny for anyone except emergency services, food supplies, government officials, police, and journalists.[621] On the next day, Chechnya closed its borders, with a full lockdown coming into effect on 30 March.[622]

On 29 March, Moscow issued a stay-at-home order for all residents starting on 30 March. Muscovites were not allowed to leave their homes except in cases of emergency medical care and other threats to life and health, to travel to work for those who are obliged to, to make purchases in the nearest shop or pharmacy, to walk pets at a distance not exceeding 100 metres from the place of residence, as well as to take out the garbage. People were instructed to keep a distance of 1.5 metres from other people. Those recently unemployed will receive 19,500 rubles a month.[623][624] After that, a similar regime was introduced in Moscow Oblast at 20:00 MSK on 29 March.[625] Senator Andrey Klishas, chair of the Federation Council Committee on constitutional legislation and state construction, criticised this decision, saying that such restrictions are the exclusive competence of the Federal Assembly and the President.[626]

On 30 March, similar orders were announced in Adygea, the Komi Republic, Mari El, Tatarstan, Chuvashia, some districts of Yakutia, Arkhangelsk, Astrakhan,[627] Belgorod, Irkutsk, Kaliningrad, Kursk, Lipetsk, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novgorod, Ryazan, Saratov, Sverdlovsk, Ulyanovsk and Vologda oblasts, the cities of Bryansk and Saint Petersburg.[628][629] Leningrad Oblast banned movement of people between districts and introduced a lockdown in the town of Murino.[630]

On 31 March, the "self-isolation regime" was announced in republics of Altai, Bashkortostan, Buryatia, Dagestan,[631] Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Karelia,[632] Khakassia, Mordovia, Udmurtia and Tuva, Altai, Khabarovsk (for those over 65), Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Primorsky, Stavropol and Zabaykalsky krais, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Kirov, Kostroma,[633] Kurgan, Magadan, Novosibirsk, Omsk,[634] Penza, Pskov (for those over 65), Rostov, Sakhalin, Samara, Smolensk,[635] Tambov, Tomsk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Voronezh and Yaroslavl[636] oblasts, Khanty-Mansi[637] and Yamalo-Nenets autonomous okrugs, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast,[638] the city of Sevastopol.[629][639][640][641] Republics of Yakutia and Karelia limited the sale of alcohol.[642]

On 1 April, the "self-isolation regime" was announced in the disputed territory of Crimea and Sevastopol,[643] the republic of North Ossetia–Alania,[644] Kamchatka[645] and Khabarovsk[646] krais, Ivanovo[647] and Orenburg[648] oblasts. On 2 April, the measures were announced in Amur Oblast (for those over 65), Tyumen Oblast,[649] and Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.[650] On 3 April, the measures were announced in Oryol Oblast[651] and Tula Oblast (for those over 65).[652]


The 2020/2021 Singapore circuit breaker measures was a stay-at-home order and cordon sanitaire implemented as a preventive measure by the Government of Singapore in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country on 7 April 2020.

The measures were brought into legal effect by the Minister for Health with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020, published on 7 April 2020.[653]

By May 2021, Singapore was in its third phase of lifting its circuit breaker measures. However, the nation returned to Phase 2 on 8 May 2021 for one week, before going into "Heightened Alert" from 16 May 2021 due to a rise in community cases resulting from the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster of COVID cases emerging from its wards, a cluster at Changi Airport, and the emergence of the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus.[654]

South Africa[edit]

Greenmarket Square as it normally appears with many market stalls, seven days before the lockdown.
On the first day of the lockdown only people exempt from the lockdown (security personnel and sanitation workers) can be seen.
Greenmarket Square in Cape Town seven days before (left) and on the first day (right) of the COVID-19 national lockdown. After the lockdown the market stall traders that normally setup on the square everyday are not present and only people exempt from the lockdown (security personnel and municipal employees) can be seen.

On 23 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation and announced a 21-day national lockdown effective from midnight 26 March through to 16 April,[655] with the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to support the government.[655] On 9 April the President announced a two-week lockdown extension, until the end of April.[656] Exempt from the lockdown are people deemed necessary to the effective response to the pandemic such as:

  • health workers, pharmacy and laboratory personnel, emergency personnel;[657][658]
  • security services (police officers, military personnel, and private security[659]);[657][658]
  • people regarded as necessary to the basic functioning of the economy (supermarkets, transportation and logistical services, petrol stations, banks, essential financial and payment services); and[657][658]
  • those working in industries that can not be economically shut down (such as mines and steel mills).[659]

During the lockdown, all gatherings except for funerals were prohibited.[660] Restaurants, taverns, bottle stores and all other stores not selling essential goods were to close during the lockdown period.[659] Schools, already closed a week before the lockdown period, will not reopen until after the lockdown. Non-exempt people are only allowed to leave their homes during this period to access health services, collect social grants, attend small funerals (no more than 50 people) and shop for essential goods.[661] See the South African Government Gazette 25 March 2020 for a complete list of exemptions and non-exemptions during the lockdown period. South Africans were ordered not to take their dogs for a walk during the lockdown, though they may walk them around their house or apartment building.[662]

A billboard at the end of Long Street, Cape Town encourages people to stay at home during the lockdown period.

People may not be evicted from their place of residence during the lockdown.[663]

Movement between provinces, and between metropolitan and district areas are prohibited except for

  • essential workers, to and from work;
  • transportation of sanitised and disinfected cargo from ports of entry;
  • the transportation of mortal remains; and
  • the attendance of funerals (restricted).[660]

All borders of the country are closed during the lockdown, except for designated ports of entry for the transportation of fuel, cargo, and goods.[660]

International and domestic passenger flights are prohibited, except for flights authorised by the Ministry of Transport, for the evacuation of South African nationals in foreign countries, and for certain repatriations.[664]


Inside of partially-opening Iconsiam shopping complex where majority of stores were forced to close, except supermarkets, chemists and takeaway restaurants (April 2020)

On 21 March, Bangkok City Hall authorities declared a wide-ranging shutdown of various businesses. Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang disclosed after the City Hall meeting that the board had passed a resolution to close establishments under Section 35 of the Communicable Diseases Act B.E. 2558 (2015), effective for a period of 22 days from 22 March to 12 April 2020. This was then extended from 12 April 2020 to 30 April 2020.[665] Only supermarkets, pharmacies, and takeaway restaurants will be allowed to stay open at the malls.[666]

The government issued a curfew to take effect on 3 April 2020 between 10pm-4am in order to limit the spread. The government has additionally issued a travel ban for all foreigners entering Thailand.[667] Some critics of the government have been arrested for allegedly spreading false information about the coronavirus pandemic.[668][669]

The curfew was cut from 10–4 to 11–4, then 11-3 and officially ended on 15 June 2020.[670]

Early April 2021, Bangkok's entertainment venues were ordered to be closed for 2 weeks.[671] Mid-April 2021, schools were ordered to be closed for 2 weeks, [672] taking the 2000+ daily cases into consideration.[673] Since 26th April, more businesses including gyms closed for 2 weeks.[674]

United Kingdom[edit]

Health in the UK is devolved to each of the four nations, and lockdown is decided by each government separately (the UK Government acting on behalf of England only).

The initial announcement, however, was done by Boris Johnson, with agreement from the other three heads of government. At 8:30 p.m. on 23 March 2020, Boris Johnson announced a stay-at-home order effective immediately,[675][dubious ] though only legally effective from 1:00 p.m. on 26 March 2020, through The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020.[676] The slogan "Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives" was used in England. All non-essential shops and services were ordered to close, throughout the UK and police were granted powers to issue fines, send people home, especially persons suspected of being infected, and to break up gatherings of more than two people. The British population was instructed to stay home, except for exercise once a day (such as running, walking or cycling), shopping for essential items, any medical need, providing care to a vulnerable person, or travelling to work where the work in question was vital and could not be done from home. Johnson stated that the stay-at-home order would be reviewed every three weeks.[677] Working with general practitioners, the four NHS bodies strongly advised (though did not mandate) that those at the highest risk of severe complications from COVID-19 follow special shielding measures. These included not leaving their home at all, even for essential reasons, and keeping two meters apart from other household members.

On 11 May, following the initial lockdown announcement, the UK-wide rules fractured and separate rules were announced at various times by the four governments of the United Kingdom:


On 26 March the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 were approved by the Senedd, giving the Welsh Government emergency powers to deal with various aspects of managing the pandemic. These new powers include the authority to:[678][679]

  • Take people into or keep them in quarantine
  • Restrict or prohibit mass gatherings
  • Close premises

"Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives" slogan rejected and "Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives" was used. On 23 October, Wales commenced a partial lockdown.

On 26 March, Snowdon and other Welsh mountains were closed to the public, after a larger number of English tourists had gathered on the mountains in the preceding days, causing traffic mayhem.[680] Natural Resources Wales later announced that all sites and paths liable to have large amounts of people visiting, or pose a high risk, would be closed.[681]

Diolch Yn Fawr NHS, Wales Millennium Centre

By 27 March, North Wales Police were patrolling the border between Wales and England because visitors were ignoring the stay-at-home instructions and travelling into Wales. In many cases the police were stopping cars entering from England; such border control had not happened between Wales and England since the 16th century.[682][683][684]

On 8 May, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that the COVID-19 lockdown in Wales would be extended for a further three weeks.[685] He also announced "modest" changes to the measures already in force: some garden centres would be allowed to re-open, and people could now exercise outdoors more than once per day provided that they "stay local".[686]

On 3 June, Welsh Government briefings began[687] (later referred to as 'press conferences') in a series that was set up by Welsh Government as a way of dispersing new information to the people of Wales regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales. These were placed on a CC-BY-SA open licence.

Restrictions were further eased by an announcement on 31 July, confirming that pubs and restaurants would be able to open indoor areas on 3 August. Up to thirty people would be able to meet outdoors and children under 11 would no longer have to keep a 2-metre (6') distance from anyone. Indoor bowling alleys, auction houses and bingo halls were allowed to reopen, while swimming pools, gyms, leisure centres and indoor play areas would be allowed to reopen from 10 August, all with social distancing.[688]

Towards the end of August, concerns grew about a potential second spike in infections, after passengers arriving at Cardiff Airport from overseas tested positive for the virus.[689] The flight operator, TUI Group, was criticised for failing to enforce mask-wearing during the flight.[690] Health Minister Vaughan Gething later revealed that 30 cases had been linked to four flights into the UK from the island of Zante, and the Welsh and Scottish governments lobbied the UK government to have the island included in the list of quarantine destinations for the UK as a whole.[691]

On 19 October, the Welsh Government announced that a second national lockdown, described as a "fire-break", would be imposed from 23 October until 9 November, coinciding with school half-term holidays which would be extended by a week in colleges and for school students in year 9 (13 to 14 years old) and above, in the hope of bringing down the number of coronavirus cases.[692] The First Minister announced that all pubs, restaurants, and non-essential shops would be closed during that period.[693]

Welsh government press conference on 19 October 2020 announcing the firebreak lockdown

Announced on 16 December, the Welsh Government planned to go into a full lockdown immediately after the 5-day Christmas period (23-27 December) on 28 December. However, on 19 December 2020, it was announced that Wales would go into a full lockdown immediately at midnight on 20 December. The circumstance for the latest lockdown was reviewed every three weeks, but no end date has been announced.[694]

After the firebreak, rules were standardised across Wales with localised restrictions abolished.[695] From 9 November, pubs, restaurants and cafes reopened with groups of up to four people (children under eleven not counting in the total) from different households allowed to meet up in them; the 10pm curfew for alcohol sales remained in place.[696] Non essential shops also reopened.[697] Two households could form a bubble (interact when they wished) whilst any number of children under eleven and up to 15 or 30 individuals over that age could take part in indoor and outdoor organised events respectively. Travel restrictions within Wales were lifted though non essential visits to other parts of the UK or abroad remained banned.[698]

On 19 December, The First Minister announced that the whole of Wales will enter tier-4 restrictions. This includes an ongoing national lockdown from that evening. This follows an outbreak of a mutant strain of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom. Original joint plans of relaxed restrictions from 23 to 28 December were in place for the entire United Kingdom, but this was amended so that the sole relaxed period would consist of Christmas Day, in which only two households will be allowed to meet. Before and after Christmas Day, meeting with people from different households, will not be allowed to take place indoors. Those that do meet with other households outdoors must stay at least 2 meters apart from each other and wear PPE.[699]

Northern Ireland[edit]

"Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives" slogan rejected and "Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives" was used.

On 15 April, Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, extended the period of lockdown in Northern Ireland to 9 May, as 121 new cases and 6 new deaths were confirmed.[700]

On 7 May, the Northern Ireland Executive met to discuss a roadmap to ending lockdown restrictions, with an announcement due during the week beginning 11 May.[701]

NI Executive roadmap to exiting lockdown

On 18 May, the Northern Ireland Executive activated some aspects of step one with garden and recycling centres allowed to open. However, on the same day, it was announced that further measures of step one would be activated on Tuesday 19 May such as groups of up to six people who do not share a household being able to meet outside and private church services being allowed.[702]

On 15 June, the Executive announced more lockdown easing this time focusing on the hospitality industry with hotels, restaurants and bars that sell food or have a large beer garden being allowed to open from 3 July 2020.[703]

On 25 June it was announced that Northern Ireland would be reducing its 2-metre social distancing rule to 1 metre.[704] At the end of June, there were a total of 5,760 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Northern Ireland, with 551 deaths.[705]

July saw a flood of relaxation of COVID-19 rules with betting shops, private clubs, restaurants, museums, and tourist sites opening on 3 July with salon and close contact services on 6 July. 10 July saw indoor gyms, outdoor playgrounds, weddings and baptisms, bingo and cinemas and competitive sports behind closed doors allowed. Libraries and indoor leisure centres followed.[706] On 10 July the wearing of face coverings became compulsory on public transport in Northern Ireland, exceptions will be for those with a medical condition, children under the age of 13, and on school transport.[707]

On 5 August it was announced that all pupils will return to school five days a week as normal at the start of term time in September. Education Minister Peter Weir announced that years 1 to 10 will return to class in protected bubbles, with minimised movements between classes for years 11 to 14.[708]

On 20 August the Executive announced that some restrictions were to be reintroduced following rising cases in recent days. Restrictions announced included reducing indoor gatherings from 10 to six people and outdoor meetings from 30 to 15.

On 10 September the Northern Ireland Executive imposed new restrictions on visiting homes for Ballymena, and parts of Glenavy, Lisburn and Crumlin, following a rise in COVID-19 cases in those areas. From the following week, people living in those areas are limited to social gatherings of six and are encouraged not to travel outside the areas.[709] The Executive also announced further easing of restrictions nationally in Northern Ireland such as the reopening of wet bars on 21 September.[710]

On 14 October the Northern Ireland Executive announced a new 'circuit breaker' lockdown effective from Friday 16 October for four weeks.[711]

On 3 December, the Executive agreed to ease restrictions on 11 December. Non-essential retail, close contract business, churches and gyms can reopen with social distancing and some limitations being observed. Parts of the hospitality industry can reopen such as cafes, restaurants and bars that serve food can open but must be closed by 23:00, wet pubs must remain shut.[712]

On 17 December, the Northern Ireland executive announced Northern Ireland would go into a lockdown from 26 December. This involved the closure of all non-essential retail, hospitality. The Christmas bubble system remained in place.[713] Due to the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 throughout Northern Ireland, the Executive hardened restrictions further on 5 January 2021. From Friday 8 January a stay-at-home order became law meaning people can only leave home for medical or food needs, exercise, and work that cannot be done from home. Further restrictions were also announced for schools with pupils from nursery, primary and post-primary schools carrying out remote learning until after the mid-term break in the middle of February 2021.[714]


"Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives" slogan rejected and "Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives" was used.

On 20 March the Scottish Government told cafes, pubs, and restaurants to close.[715][a]

On 6 April the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 which was introduced as an Emergency Bill in the Scottish Parliament on 31 March 2020 gained Royal Assent, becoming law.

On 16 April, after reviewing the lockdown with all nations in the UK, the decision was made to extend it for another 3 weeks until 7 May. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in her daily briefing said, ". . . I want to stress that the news is positive . . . Early indications are that the lockdown restrictions have resulted in a slowing down in the rate of community transmission of the virus."[716]

On 28 April the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon advised the voluntary use of (non-medical grade) cloth face masks to be used in enclosed spaces such as shops and public transport, but not generally in public, excluding those who are under two years old or who have respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

On 8 May First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reported that there was some recognition that each of the four nations of the UK might move at different speeds with regard to loosening the lockdown and that she would not be pressured into lifting restrictions prematurely.[717]

On 11 May, in a national address to Scotland on the beginning of the seventh week of lockdown, Nicola Sturgeon asked the nation "to stick with lockdown for a bit longer - so that we can consolidate our progress, not jeopardise it[…] I won't risk unnecessary deaths by acting rashly or prematurely."

On 21 May First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined a four-phase "route map" for easing lockdown restrictions in Scotland that included allowing people to meet up outside with people from one other household in the first phase. The lockdown would be eased from 28 May subject to the number of new cases of COVID-19 continuing to fall.[718] Schools in Scotland would reopen on 11 August, when students would receive a "blended model" of part-time study at school combined with some learning at home.[719]

On 28 May the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced an easing of the lockdown in Scotland from the following day, with people able to meet friends and family outside in groups of no more than eight but keeping two metres apart.[720]

On 19 June, some easing of lockdown restrictions with meeting outdoors of up to 8 people from two other households whilst maintaining social distancing, for single people or singles with children they may meet with another household indoors without social distancing. Face coverings mandatory on public transport. Exercise within 5 miles of home.[721]

On 29 June further easing of lockdown with indoor workplaces allowed to open, street access retail and outdoor markets opening, outdoor sports playgrounds, zoos and parks open, outdoor marriages allowed and people can move house. All with social distancing.[722]

On 3 July the 5 mile travel ban is lifted, self contained holiday accommodation allowed to re-open for business, visits to care homes by one "key visitor" were permitted but meetings had to be outdoors and a 2m distance maintained, young people under 12 were not required to social distance and 12-17 year olds may meet in groups of up to 8 people provided social distancing is maintained. Beer gardens and outdoor cafes can open from 6 July.[723] It will be compulsory to wear face coverings in shops from 10 July.[724]

On 10 July Air Bridge system starts which did not require self isolation for people returning from any of 57 countries, similar to, but less than the list of Air Bridges from England and Wales.[725] Up to 15 people from five different households may meet outdoors whilst maintaining 2m social distancing, up to 8 people from three households may meet indoors and people from outside a household may stay overnight.[726]

On 11 August pupils returned to schools. They did not need to socially distance but teachers had to wear masks if they were in close proximity with others and socially distance from each other. By 31 August, pupils at high schools are obliged to wear face masks in corridors, canteens and other communal areas.[727]

On 22 September First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces nationwide restrictions which go into effect on Friday 25 September, these restrictions affect the pub closing times to meetings within households.

On 2 November a new, 5 level, or "tier" system is introduced into Scotland - bringing new, targeted restrictions to different regions of the country.[728][729][730]


The April lockdown left a significant impact on the economy, resulting in shrinking it by a fifth, i.e. 20%. The "circuit-breaker" lockdown, which is expected to be relatively less intense could hit the economy by 5% or more. As per Capital Economics, the estimated time required for the economy to get back to the pre-pandemic levels is a year to 2023.[731]

The slogan changed to "Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives" and those who could not work from home, including specifically construction and manufacturing workers, were encouraged to return to work albeit avoiding the use of public transport. Additionally, the once-a-day limit on exercise was lifted. The COVID-19 threat level system was introduced, and the "Stay Home" phase was announced to be equivalent to Level 4 (where 1 meant "COVID-19 is not known to be present in the UK", and 5 meant "The circulation of COVID-19 is high and rising exponentially and there is a material risk of healthcare being overwhelmed").

On 13 May, those in England were allowed to meet one other person not from their household outside whilst maintaining a 2-metre social distance,[732] and from 28 May groups of up to six from different households were allowed to meet outside, keeping a safe distance.

From 1 June, English primary schools were encouraged to re-open to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, and extremely vulnerable people shielding at home were advised it was safe to go outside for once-daily, socially-distanced exercise, for the first time in approximately two months.

From 15 June, non-essential retail reopened, and English secondary schools were asked to prepare to provide Year 10 and Year 12 students with some face-to-face meetings to support their home learning for essential upcoming exams the next year. It also became mandatory to wear face coverings in healthcare settings and on public transport.

From 4 July, most other businesses were allowed to reopen, except for those considered to pose the highest risk such as indoor gyms, and social gathering rules were relaxed further. Most notably, the two-meter rule was relaxed to one meter apart, where other mitigations such as face coverings were being used. The only legal measure that remained, except for face coverings on public transport and in healthcare, was an upper legal limit of 30 on gatherings (except in 'local lockdown' areas, see below), but people were advised to limit gatherings to either two households in any indoor or outdoor, public or private setting, or to a maximum of six, outdoors only, when people gathering were from more than two households.

From 24 July, it became mandatory in England to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets.[733]

By 15 August, most other businesses, including indoor theatres, casinos and bowling alleys, had been allowed to reopen. Nightclubs and sexual entertainment venues, however, remained closed.

Schools reopened full-time from September, and from 9 September, the slogan changed once more, to "Hands, Face, Space" reminding the public to wash or sanitize hands often, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces, and keep a space of one meter or more from others, as well as letting fresh air in at public spaces

On 16 October, Northern Ireland commenced a partial lockdown.[734][735]

Starting on 17 October, the government announced that London, among other areas, would move to Tier 2 restrictions, following a spike in cases, banning people from mixing indoors privately.[736]

7 days after the lockdown in Wales, on 31 October, it was announced that a partial lockdown would commence in England from 5 November 2020, to last for 4 weeks up to and including 2 December.[737]

Through the month of November, mass asymptomatic testing brought the case rate in Liverpool down enough for it to move down from Tier 3 into Tier 2.

After that, a new tiered approach was put into place, to be reviewed on 16 December (with any changes coming into force three days later). For 5 days over the Christmas period (23–27 December), these restrictions are to be relaxed, allowing for three households to meet and form a protective "bubble" during this time period.[738] However this was not the case for residents in and around London as a fourth tier was introduced to combat rising cases.

On 4 January 2021, all four Chief Medical Officers and the NHS England Medical Director recommended that the COVID Alert Level should be increased, from level 4 to level 5,[739] indicating that there was a material risk of healthcare services becoming overwhelmed.[740] On that day, Nicola Sturgeon announced a lockdown in Scotland which took effect at midnight.[741] Later that day, Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown in England, which took legal effect at 00:01 on 5 January.[742]

On 22 February 2021, the UK Government published its 4-step plan to ease lockdown restrictions in England.[743] The first step of the plan, which, amongst other easements, provides for school re-openings, took effect on 8 March. The second step, which involved outdoor activities and trials of indoor activities, took effect on 12 April.

United States[edit]

States, territories, and counties that issued a stay-at-home order in 2020:
  Came into effect before 22 March
  Came into effect before 29 March
  Came into effect before 5 April
  Came into effect before 12 April

Stay-at-home orders in the United States have come from several states and a large number of local jurisdictions, sometimes leading to conflicts between different levels of government and a patchwork of inconsistent dates and rules.[744][745][746]

On 15 March 2020, Puerto Rico governor Wanda Vázquez Garced signed an executive order to order all citizens to stay home starting at 9 p.m. with exceptions in limited circumstances between 5 a.m. and 9 pm. Governmental operations and non-essential businesses were to be closed until 30 March.[747]

The first order within the states was simultaneously imposed by health authorities in heart of the San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties and the cities of San Francisco and Berkeley) effective 17 March 2020, affecting nearly 6.7 million people.[748] Other cities and counties across the state followed suit over the next two days, until Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, issued a state-wide order effective 19 March 2020.[749]

On 20 March 2020, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state-wide stay-at-home order with a mandate that 100% of non-essential workforce to be conducted as working from home effective 22 March.[750] Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker followed that lead on the same day with a state-wide order which would go into effect on 21 March at 5 pm.[751] Ned Lamont, the governor of Connecticut, signed an executive order called "Stay Safe, Stay At Home" to take effect state-wide on 23 March at 8 p.m.

On 20 March 2020, Navajo Nation announced that it had broadened the stay-at-home order to cover the entire reservation, the largest in the country.[752]

On 21 March 2020, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy announced a state-wide stay-at-home order effective at 9 p.m. on the same day.[753]

On 22 March 2020, Ohio governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton issued a state-wide stay-at-home order effective 23 March.[754] In the afternoon, the Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards announced a state-wide stay-at-home order in a press conference.[755] Delaware governor John Carney followed suit with a stay-at-home order for his state.[756]

Variable-message sign along Interstate 95 in Prince George's County, Maryland telling people to stay home and only travel for essential purposes

On 23 March 2020, several state governors announced their state-wide stay-at-home order:

  • Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker ordered non-essential businesses to close in-person operations effective 24 March until 7 April and directed the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to issue a stay-at-home advisory.[757]
  • Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her state-wide executive order to stay-at-home at 11:00 am for all non-essential businesses effective 24 March until 28 May.[758]
  • Indiana governor Eric Holcomb announced state-wide stay-at-home order effective 25 March until 7 April.[759]
  • West Virginia governor Jim Justice ordered non-essential businesses to be closed immediately, and stay-at-home order effective at 8 pm.[760]
  • After growing calls from local officials on Sunday, Oregon governor Kate Brown issued a stay-at-home order on Monday effective immediately with class C misdemeanor charges for violators.[761]
  • New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a state-wide stay-at-home order that requires 100% of non-essential business workforce to work from home effective 24 March until 10 April.[762]
  • Washington governor Jay Inslee signed a state-wide stay-at-home proclamation and ordered to close non-essential businesses effective 25 March for two weeks.[763]
  • Hawaii governor David Ige issued a state-wide stay-at-home order effective 25 March which was similar to the orders that were previously issued for Maui and Honolulu counties.[764][765]

On 23 March 2020, Yakama Nation announced its "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order.[766]

On 24 March 2020, Wisconsin governor Tony Evers issued a state-wide stay-at-home order to close all non-essential businesses and ordered no gatherings of any size effective 25 March until 24 April.[767] Vermont governor Phil Scott signed a stay-at-home order and directed closure of in-person operations of non-essential businesses effective 25 March until 15 April.[768]

On 25 March, Idaho governor Brad Little and Minnesota governor Tim Walz issued stay-at-home orders for their respective states.[769][770] Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued a stay at home order effective on Thursday the 26th at 6 a.m. through 11 April 2020.[771]

On 2 April, Georgia governor Brian Kemp issued a stay-at-home order effective Friday, 3 April 2020, until Monday, 13 April 2020.[772] It overrules any local stay-at-home restrictions previously in place, and instructs residents to stay at home unless they're conducting "essential services," meaning either traveling to and from jobs or other exceptions, including buying groceries; purchasing medical equipment; going out to exercise; and visiting medical facilities.[773] The same day, Dr. Anthony Fauci publicly questioned why all states were not under stay-at-home orders.[774][775]

In late May 2020, citywide curfews were enacted in San Francisco and several surrounding cities; San Jose; Minneapolis; Atlanta; Chicago; Cleveland; Columbus; Denver; Jacksonville, FL; Los Angeles; Memphis, TN; Omaha, Nebraska; Lincoln, Nebraska; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia; Portland; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Buffalo, New York; Rochester, NY; Syracuse; New York City; Milwaukee; Seattle; Cincinnati; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fayetteville; Raleigh, North Carolina; Charleston, SC; Sacramento, CA; Columbia, SC; and Asheville, NC due to protests[776] regarding the killing of George Floyd. Countywide curfews were enacted for Los Angeles County, California and Alameda County, California as well. Arizona enacted a state-wide curfew. These curfews are imposed as complemented to stay-at-home order that imposed by state or local authorities.

On 2 November 2020, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker issued a night-time stay-at-home advisory and business curfew effective 6 November 2020.[777]


Nationwide isolation[edit]

After the Vietnamese government ordered a nationwide isolation, many public areas such as schools and restaurants had to be closed until 15 April 2020.[778]

On 31 March 2020, Vietnamese government ordered a nationwide isolation of 15 days from 1 to 15 April.[778] From 16 April, local airlines could raise the number of domestic flights, which were subsequently further increased on 23 April and again on 29 April.[779][780][781]

On 23 April 2020, Vietnamese government lifted social isolation rule, subsequently allowing re-opening of non-essential services including restaurants. On the same day, schools across the country could be re-opened, with dates varying per each province and city case.[782]

Everyone who enters Vietnam from abroad, however, continued to be quarantined upon arrival for 14 days. From 23 April, plans for repatriation flights to bring Vietnamese citizens abroad back to Vietnam were re-newed, with an initial plan for 13 flights.[780] Among the flights conducted was notably the first-ever direct flight in history operated by Vietnam Airlines from Vietnam to the United States on 7 May.[783]

From 9 May, cinemas were reopened.[784] On 11 May, Vietnamese government started a nationwide tourism campaign, named 'Vietnamese travel Vietnam', to increase domestic demand for travelling and promote domestic tourism.[784]

Lockdown of Da Nang[edit]

Two Da Nang medical workers wearing protective suits before performing COVID test.

In late-July, Vietnam was placed on high alert after the government confirmed dozens of community infections, the first since April, all in or around Da Nang.[785]

After the midnight of 28 July 2020, Da Nang International Airport will be temporarily closed. All public vehicles such as tourist buses, taxis, public buses in the area of Da Nang must stop operating, except for government vehicles, emergency vehicles and any vehicles transporting necessities. Any car traveling through Da Nang cannot stop to pick up passengers in the city.

Vietnam Railways has been instructed to suspend the operation of passenger trains to and from Da Nang station. North–South trains are still operating normally on the route but do not stop when entering the city area. Passenger boats and ferry services originating from Da Nang are also prohibited. Aircraft, ships and vehicles transporting cargo are not affected by this regulation.

Da Nang is an example [of the importance] of human resources, medical facility. Despite many efforts but the central government still have to total mobilize to support. If an epidemic occurs in a mountainous province it will be even more difficult. Must be determined that from now on there will be no time of peace, but the readiness for an outbreak.

— Nguyen Thanh Long, the Acting Minister of Health[786]

Countries and territories without lockdowns[edit]

A drive through COVID-19 testing site in South Korea in February 2020. Korea's K-Quarantine strategy included rapidly developing mass testing capacity and infrastructure.

Almost all countries and territories affected with COVID-19 have introduced and enforced some form of lockdown. However, a few exceptions include South Korea and Taiwan, which rapidly and consistently implemented highly organized mass testing, contact tracing, public messaging and selective quarantining to identify and isolate outbreaks.[787][788] Korea's K-Quarantine system has been highly effective at bringing the pandemic under control.[789][790] Another exception in Asia is Japan.[791] Authorities in Tokyo have advised businesses to close and for the population to stay at home, but do not have legal authority to enforce a lockdown or penalise non-compliance. Compliance with advice has nevertheless been high.[792][793]

In the European Union, the sole nation not following this strategy is Sweden.[794] Measures in Sweden included the closing of universities and high schools and asking older and at-risk residents to avoid social contact, while keeping restaurants, primary schools and kindergartens open.[795] However, in early 2021 new laws permitting lockdown were enacted and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven warned that a lockdown was being considered.[47][48]

Some of the few countries that did not enact lockdowns during 2020 were forced to later in the pandemic. In Malawi, a proposed lockdown by the government was delayed by the High Court throughout 2020,[796] until a state of emergency was declared and the country entered a lockdown in January 2021 in response to a worsening outbreak.[797] Although Cambodia restricted movement within the country during a period in 2020,[798] it introduced its first major restrictions, including a curfew and later stay-at-home order across capital city Phnom Penh, during its largest outbreak to date in early 2021.[799][800][801][471] East Timor also enacted its first lockdown of capital city Dili in March 2021[802] and Turkey entered its first nationwide lockdown in April 2021.[803][804]

In the United States and Brazil, a handful of states have not introduced any lockdown-type measures (commonly known as "stay-at-home orders").[805][806]

Countries and territories without lockdowns
Countries and territories Ref
Belarus [807]
Brazil Roraima [808][809]
Burundi [810]
Iceland [citation needed]
Japan [791]
Tanzania [811]
Nicaragua [812]
South Korea [788]
Taiwan [787]
United States Arkansas [805][806]
North Dakota
South Dakota
Uruguay [813]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beyond these 3 types of establishments, also told to close were:
    • Nightclubs and other drinking establishments
    • Cinemas, theatres and bingo halls and concert halls
    • Spas, wellness centres and massage parlours
    • Casinos and betting shops
    • Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools


  1. ^ "Coronavirus: 7 dead, 229 infected in Italy as Europe braces for COVID-19". NBC News. Archived from the original on 16 May 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  2. ^ Coronavirus: Half of humanity now on lockdown as 90 countries call for confinement Archived 19 May 2020 at the Wayback Machine Alasdair Sandford, 03/04/2020, accessed 31 October 2020
  3. ^ a b c Levenson, Michael (2 January 2020). "Scale of China's Wuhan Shutdown Is Believed to Be Without Precedent". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2 May 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e Perra, Nicola (13 February 2021). "Non-pharmaceutical interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic: A review". Physics Reports. 913: 1–52. doi:10.1016/j.physrep.2021.02.001. ISSN 0370-1573. PMC 7881715. PMID 33612922.
  5. ^ Doyle, Michael (11 October 2020). "WHO doctor says lockdowns should not be main coronavirus defence". ABC. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  6. ^ "COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response". UNESCO. 4 March 2020. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
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