What does a lockdown look like? How other major cities are dealing with coronavirus

As the coronavirus situation and response in the UK changes day-by-day, there's plenty of talk that it's all leading to a nationwide lockdown.

For the moment, Britons can shop for food at the supermarket, grab a takeaway coffee from a cafe, or go out for a walk in the park - so long as you stick to government guidelines on social distancing.

But around the world, more than 1.5 billion people - more than one fifth of the world's population, have been asked to stay at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Overall, more than 350,000 people worldwide have been infected, and 15,000 have died from the virus.

Here's what a formal 'lockdown' looks like in other countries.


An empty piazza in Rome. Credit: AP

Italy, one of the worst-hit countries - broadened its lockdown measures on Sunday, after the country's death toll rose past 5,000.

All factories not producing essential goods are now closed, in addition to schools, bars, restaurants, retail shops, and much more.

Italians are banned from moving across municipalities - with exceptions for 'urgent matters' - and must provide documentation to police when they leave their house, stating where they are going out and why.

Several Italian mayors have gone viral on social media after posting clips railing against those leaving their homes.

One mayor filmed himself walking around empty streets yelling at pedestrians to get back inside.

Even the Vatican has barred pilgrims from attending next month's Holy Week celebrations.

Supermarket, pharmacies, public transport, banks and post offices will remain open, and all jobs and activities related to food distribution and essential public services will continue.

But after two weeks of lockdown, Italians seem to have found plenty of ways to keep themselves entertained.


Parisians must provide documentation to justify leaving their residence. Credit: AP

France has introduced measures similar to Italy, and requires citizens to produce 'attestations' - signed documents - to declare why they are leaving their home.

Restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, nightclubs, and tourist landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower as closed, with only 'essential' businesses permitted to run.

The French can still go to the supermarket, the chemist, banks, tobacco shops and petrol stations, and can exercise, but only by themselves.

Those caught defying the rules will face a fine of up to 3,700 euros (£3,460) and repeat offenders could be sentenced to six months in prison.

The United States

Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered New York into lockdown from March 22. Credit: AP

More than 100 million Americans have now been ordered to stay at home, after Louisiana, Ohio, Delaware and the city of Philadelphia joined California, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey in state lockdowns.

The US Senate is trying to push through a $2 trillion nationwide bill to fight the spread of the virus by propping up affected business and bring relief to households, but partisan fighting has delayed it.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told residents they could get out and about for a 'minimum' of exercise, but would have to go back inside soon after.

He warned they would "enforce this new reality".


Germany has reported a slight 'flattening' of its infection curve, but is still enforcing strict measures to keep the positive trend going.

The country has banned public gatherings of more than two people, unless they live in the same household, and expanded its list of closed businesses to include hair, beauty and massage studios.

Restaurants are closed but can still prepare and deliver takeaway to customers. The measures will continue for at least the next two weeks.

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Monday she would be quarantining herself after her doctor tested positive to Covid-19, but she has since tested negative for coronavirus.


New cases of coronavirus in China have ebbed. Credit: AP

China, the original epicentre of the coronavirus, has seen its new number of infections flatten compared to the spikes in Europe and the United States.

The two-month lockdown in Wuhan - the city where the virus first appeared in December last year - has been relaxed by authorities.

Residents are still being told to stay inside, but can now leave their homes to buy food and walk around the streets.

They can even return to work if they can prove they don't have a temperature, and have a certificate from their employer.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know