Health officials across the world have issued warnings that some countries could be relaxing their coronavirus lockdowns too early, raising the chances of new waves of infection.
As the rules were eased in the UK on Monday, the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) said it was "increasingly concerned that the government is misjudging this balancing act and lifting too many restrictions, too quickly."
ADPH president Jeanelle de Gruchy said leading scientists and public health experts believed that recent national policy announcements in England -- including reopening schools and non-essential businesses and allowing more social contact -- were not "supported by the science."
Prof Sally Bloomfield, Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the lifting of so many measures at once "does not look like gently lifting the lid" and meant that if the situation deteriorates, a full lockdown will need to be reimposed.
I fear that our desire to socialise means that the critical nature of our situation is being forgotten," she added.
Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor at the University of Leeds' School of Medicine, said the relaxing of measures for the most at-risk "appears to have little grounding in reality."
It is imperative that the sacrifices made during lockdown are not undone by relaxing measures in haste," he said.
Other countries reopening: Moscow will also begin to gradually ease some coronavirus lockdown restrictions starting Monday.
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said in a videoconference with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week that the Russian capital would allow some non-essential businesses to reopen and scheduled walks.
“I’m just afraid that the streets of Moscow will be like the Labor Day holiday, so we will begin in a test mode,” he said.
Russia’s official number of Covid-19 deaths has been relatively low compared to countries with similar numbers of overall infections, but observers have questioned official counting methods that permit ascribing deaths in patients who tested positive for coronavirus to other chronic conditions.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte also approved a recommendation to relax Covid-19 lockdown measures in the capital Manila from Monday, according to CNN Philippines.
According to CNN Philippines, this decision is also in line with the recommendation of all 17 mayors of Metro Manila who would like to see nonessential businesses reopen to help restart the ailing economy.