Is the second wave over?
A few countries have eased their Covid restrictions in recent days: in the Czech Republic, Ireland and France, stores and restaurants are allowed to open once more and people can spend more time in public spaces. But commentators are far from relieved.
Premature opening will only harm the economy
The Irish Independent doubts that relaxing the coronavirus measures will really help boost the economy:
“Some politicians have breezily acknowledged that the December reopening will cause another spike in the disease and usher in a new lockdown in January. There may, however, be no trade-off at all in the longer term if there are to be repeated lockdowns. Opinion among economists is tentative - econometric searches of international data for empirical evidence of a stable trade-off have come up empty. Quite a few economists believe that the most effective public health policy is also best for the economy, aside from the immediate short run.”
Christmas fun will backfire on us
Hospodářské noviny is not happy about the easing of restrictions:
“If we reopen the country without fundamentally improving testing and tracking, the epidemic will gather momentum again. ... The number of those who test positive still lies at 20 percent. We could easily find ourselves in the position of having to close everything down again before Christmas. But that won't happen in practice, because it would trigger a tsunami of discontent. So the government says to itself: 'Let's allow the stores to do business and let the people have a more or less enjoyable Christmas. And then we'll go back into lockdown.'”
It's up to us
Everyone must work to ensure that the return to more normality doesn't backfire, Lidové noviny warns:
“The government's main goal is to make Christmas shopping possible. In the same breath, however, all the experts are warning that the number of cases will go down only very slowly, and that the risk of a third wave cannot be ruled out. So it's above all up to us to decide whether we comply with the remaining restrictions or not. ... Those who don't follow the rules are acting in an anti-social way. It's in the interest of society that the healthcare system does not collapse.”