Coronavirus in Europe: An inside view of how the situation compares in different countries

The coronavirus pandemic has upended normal life across Europe. Here our journalists and contributors from across eight countries give an inside view on the situation where they are on Friday March 20th.

Clare Speak, Bari, southern Italy

It’s day 11 of quarantine here in Italy and cabin fever is setting in. We’re told not to leave the house unless strictly necessary, such as to buy food or medicine. If we do go out, we need to take a signed self-declaration form, giving our reasons for doing so. Everything is closed, except for food shops, pharmacies, and the tabaccherie, where we go to pay our bills and print out more self-declaration forms.

Graham Keeley, Barcelona, Spain

I am celebrating my birthday today in lockdown. (No, don’t ask how many candles). 

Of course this has meant that all the presents have been home made, but I didn’t do badly; a painting of Stonehenge and a box full of promises for when this is all over. Learning boogie woogie piano from one of my sons is one I am looking forward to. 

Quite when this will finish remains uncertain. 

Emma Pearson, Paris, France It’s a slightly strange time in France. We are running The Local from laptops in our apartments, but we’re lucky that our work is relatively easy to do from home. Many people cannot work at all and although France’s finance minister promised that ‘no one will lose a centime’ due to the coronavirus, there is still a lot of uncertainty for many people.

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