From Austria to Australia, countries have begun to relax lockdown restrictions introduced to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The big picture: The number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, but several countries are beating back outbreaks. The virus has killed almost 280,000 people and infected more than 4 million globally, per Johns Hopkins. With the IMF predicting the pandemic will cause global GDP to contract by 3% this year, governments are beginning to reopen economies with strict health measures in place. Friday prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque in Beirut, Lebanon, after authorities eased some restrictions. Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images People out walking on a street pedestrianized in response to the pandemic during permitted hours in Madrid, Spain, on Saturday. Photo: Ely Pineiro/Getty Images A Las Vegas restaurant on Saturday, the first day that dine-in restaurants, hair and nail salons, some retail stores, and other nonessential businesses have been allowed to reopen with physical distancing measures and other strict guidelines in place. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images The mayor of New Taipei City checks the social distance before a game at the Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium, which opened to a small number of fans on Friday for the first time since Taiwan's lockdown began. Photo: Gene Wang/Getty Images Soldiers in Vienna on Friday. Austria was one of the first countries to ease restrictions, beginning in April, notes the BBC, which reports that eateries will be allowed to open in mid-May. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images A teacher with students in Dortmund, western Germany, after fourth-graders were allowed to return to school on May 7. Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images New strict guidelines in place at an Apple Store at Bondi Junction in Sydney after reopening on May 7. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday a three-step process to remove all domestic restrictions nationwide by July amid a major testing and contact-tracing drive. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images People line up outside a grocery store in New Delhi, India, on May 6. The country allowed more businesses to reopen with stringent measures on May 4, AP notes though some restrictions will remain in place until at least May 18. Photo: Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images Go deeper: Looking back on locking down