Lockdown 2021 Update: Scandinavia, Europe and the US

Blog, Research

As the world has been experiencing lockdowns spilling up to 2021 due to COVID-19, every country around the globe has been dealing with the situation differently. Insider knowledge from various markets about the ins and outs of the current lockdown status is useful information to have to keep international businesses running as smoothly as possible.

Which markets are still in a strict phase of lockdown and which are coming through it?


What are office workflows like? 


How did the lockdowns affect the lifestyle industries?


How can you best get in touch with the press? 

The Lifestyle Team at VOCAST is made up of native researchers, with specific knowledge about what is happening across international markets. These questions will all be answered below for markets in Scandinavia and Europe – along with quotes from fashion insiders. 

Here is an update on the lockdown status of our 10 markets, updated as of 01.06.2021

Lifestyle industry updates

Lifestyle industry updates from 10 markets – From Denmark to France, to Italy and Germany.

Do you want to know what office regulations are like or what the most efficient ways to get in touch with editors and journalists are right now? Are you looking to contact buyers and want to know the retail status of their market? These questions are answered for you below.

Navigate your way through these updates by clicking on the arrows or the dots: 1. Denmark 2. Sweden 3. Norway 4. France 5. Italy 6. Germany 7. The Netherlands 8. Belgium 9. The UK 10. The US

Denmark's June Update

Lockdown status: Open with restrictions. Negative test results are required to be able to attend certain activities.

Travel advice: Travel for work allowed with restrictions in place.

Working regulations: Some are back in the office, but generally all of the lifestyle industry is recommended to work from home whenever possible.

Press status: Its best to contact the press via email or phone

Retail status: All physical retail stores are now open with restrictions. Restaurants and bars are open again, but can only be entered by presenting a negative test result.

Fashion Week: It has recently been announced that Copenhagen Fashion Week will return as a physical event for SS22, with trade shows, showcases, activations, installations, and talks planned from the 10th of August to the 13th of August 2021.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back to a physical fashion week, where we will of course still continue the many digital initiatives that the last year has given rise to. However, the value of being able to meet again and fill our wonderful city with creative expression is something we all really look forward to“, says Cecilie Thorsmark, CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week. (Source)

Sweden's June Update

Lockdown status: Open

Travel advice: Travel for work is allowed when traveling within the Swedish borders, just keep the current restrictions in mind. If you want to enter the country you must have a negative covid-test that is a maximum of 48 hours old. 

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry is working from home. However, some offices have returned to the office with certain days where they work from home.  

Press status: You can always start reaching out via mail or over the phone. Press is also very keen to socialise so why not, with the restrictions in mind, take someone out for lunch and build a personal relation with the media.

Retail status: All physical retail stores are open until further notice with restrictions on how many customers can be in the store at once. 

Norway's June Update

Lockdown status: In the month of May, Norway has begun to lift several of the covid restrictions that have been in force for months. Oslo, the city which was hit the hardest, has been employing especially strict restrictions but you can now gather 50 people for outdoor events and 20 people indoors in the city. In private gatherings, you can maximum be 10 people.

Travel advice: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all unnecessary foreign travel until July 1st. This applies to all countries except Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and certain parts of Finland. For everyone returning from what classifies as unnecessary travel abroad has to spend quarantine in a quarantine hotel.

Working regulations: On a national level, it is recommended to work from home if possible.

Press status: It is best to contact the press via email or phone

Retail status: Retail is open on a national level. Oslo reopened stores and malls.

Fashion week: Oslo Runway will be digital and take place from the 18th to the 20th of August.

France's June Update

Lockdown status: France is currently open however with some restrictions and a curfew that prohibits outings from 9PM to 6AM without an exemption form.

Travel advice: There are no restrictions on travel inside France. Travelers coming from a country within the European Space can enter France but must present a negative COVID-19 test that is less than 72 hours old and sign a sworn declaration. You are not required to self-isolate. Travelers from non-EU countries are subject to more restrictions such as compulsory quarantine or in some cases will not be able to enter the country.

Working regulations: Working from home is strongly recommended whenever possible. Most employees are currently either fully working from home or alternating between days at the office and days at home.

Press status: Communication via email or phone are both ok.

Retail status: Shops and retailers reopened on the 19th of May with restrictions on capacity.

Fashion Week: Depending on the sanitary conditions, The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode confirmed they would like to hold physical fashion shows for the Paris Homme Fashion Week from the 22nd to the 27th of June this summer.

Italy's June Update

Lockdown status: Italy has a traffic light rating system to regulate the restrictions applied in a specific region. Currently Italy is now easing most restrictions still in place. Bars and restaurants are open. The nationwide midnight curfew will stay in place until the 21st of June.

Travel advice: At the moment, there are no limitations on travel within Italy. If you travel from abroad there is the need to fill in the digital “Passenger Locator Form” and show the “green pass” which represents a certification that you took an antigen test maximum 48 hours before entering the country.

Working regulations: It is still advised to work from home whenever possible. However, some are slowly returning to the office 1 or 2 days per week.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email.

Retail status: Currently, all retail is open until further tightening of restrictions

Fashion Week: Men’s Milano Fashion Week 2021 will take place from the 18th to 22nd of June
in a hybrid of digital and physical.

Germany's June Update

Lockdown status:  Generally the lockdown has been lifted nationwide, which means that the German society is semi-open. However, restrictions may vary within Germany.
Amongst others, gastronomy and cafés are ready to receive guests until 11 pm, but also cultural institutions such as cinemas and theaters have reopened to resume their daily business. A corona test that is not older than 24h however is always necessary to be able to use these services.

Travel advice: All travel is allowed with restrictions in place. However, no special rules apply for business travellers. When entering Germany it is important to fill out the digital registration form. This is very important and will be checked when crossing the border.
In general it is allowed to enter Germany from countries within the European Union and EU associated states that got approval from the EU regarding their epidemiological situation. Always carry a negative corona test with you that is not older than 72h when entering Germany.

Working regulations: Generally it is encouraged by the government to switch to home office where it is possible. Many companies however have decided to slowly go back to working from the office, since the incidence numbers have lowered nationwide.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email or phone.

Retail status: Physical retail stores are open but can only be entered by presenting a negative test result. Some retail stores are closed and some are open depending on the location and store type.

The Netherlands's June Update

Lockdown status: Third stage of reopening plan, most places are open.

Travel advice: Outbound travel allowed to green and yellow coded countries, inbound travel allowed from EU and Schengen countries, though negative test and quarantine rules may apply. Inbound travel still banned for non-EU nationals & residents and for EU nationals & residents returning from Latin America, South Africa or the UK.

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email

Retail status: Retail stores are open.

Belgium's June Update

Lockdown status: Reopening with curfew

Travel advice: Outbound non-essential travel permitted but discouraged, inbound travel subject to negative test and quarantine

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email.

Retail status: Retail stores are open.

The UK's June Update

Lockdown status: The UK’s nation-wide lockdown began to be lifted from April, and in June the final phases of the governments reopening plans should come into place. This would mean that all formal restrictions will be lifted, though it has not been definitely confirmed, this is set to happen on June 21st.

Travel advice: Travel for work allowed with restrictions in place, such as quarantine hotels.

Working regulations: Generally most of the lifestyle industry are working from home, though many offices are beginning to open again.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email, but as offices open you are more likely to reach them by phone than in the beginning of this year. 

Retail status: As of April 12th retail stores have opened again with social distancing measures in place.

Fashion Week: London Fashion Week will take place from June 12 – June 14. It will be mostly digital with some physical evening events for industry insiders. 

The US's June Update

Lockdown status: The US is generally open and many states have eased and lifted restrictions. No state has a stay-at-home order or curfew in place. Throughout April vaccinations have been rolled out successfully and as of May, 60 percent of Americans have received at least one vaccine dose.

Travel advice: Restrictions requiring people coming to the United States (including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people) to have a negative covid-19 test result or documentation of recovery is still in effect. The CDC still warns against nonessential travel for people who are not fully vaccinated. And stresses the importance of complying with safety demands such as wearing masks and keeping distance.

Working regulations: Businesses are now mostly open across the country. Many in the lifestyle industry are back in the office. Some still alternate between working form home and the office depending on whatever is most safe.

Press status: It is best to contact the press via email at the moment.

Retail status: In most states, all retail is up and running again. Regulations such as a maximum number of people in the store, rules regarding returns, fitting rooms, bagging, and personal protective equipment are however still mostly required.

Fashion Week: New York Fashion Week is set to take place in September. The CFDA plan to hold physical events and this year’s fashion week will end with the postponed Met Gala, untraditionally being held in September. 

Industry Insights

VOCAST’s Curators wanted to share their expert insights on their market, but also gathered exclusive quotes from journalists, influencers and industry experts. Curious to know how life in the lifestyle industry has been like since lockdown and how their work has changed? Swipe to have clearer grasp on the current market situation:


“Covid-19 has had both a positive and negative effect on the influencer profession. From one day to the other all ongoing campaigns were moved or cancelled along with my economic livelihood. The lockdown forcing people to stay at home with their smartphones being their primary source of entertainment let the industry into a massive growth with regard to engagement and followers – especially during the first lockdown. For that reason I see a great amount of unused potential for online marketing on social media, and especially with the use of influencers during the pandemic. Both to me and my collaborating partners, the lockdown was a huge scare and felt massive and infinite – and it has had a huge negative effect on my financial situation especially.” 

Marie Jedig, Fashion Influencer.


“Back in March 2020, when Denmark had its first lockdown, many of my clients rescheduled campaigns and some cancelled – I got a really huge campaign cancelled for the rest of the year. At that point I was a bit nervous and had thoughts about how I was going to make everything work if the lockdown remained. Luckily it all changed pretty fast – so I actually ended up having many campaigns for the rest of 2020. A positive view on the pandemic and the lockdowns that we have been through, is that it has been very nice to get a small break from all the things I am usually attending. Instead I have had the time to immerse in my work, create even better content and I have had a lot more time to be creative – which has brought me peace. With that said I do of course look forward to getting out to meetings, press days, events and fashion weeks again.” 

Karoline Dall, Fashion Influencer.


“In a world where we have looked more at functionality than aesthetics, there is still room for beautiful things. We will consume less and much more vintage or second hand.

Replacement consumption exists, of course, but selected, beautiful, strange objects still fit in our rational homes.” 

– Stefan Nilsson trend expert. (source)


“With the lockdown here in Germany the Lifestyle and Communications industry is currently very tense. New, innovative, and disruptive formats within media need to be explored to get consumers and new audiences to pay attention. Now more than ever it is important for brands to think outside of the box within the industry.”

-Benjamin Schiffer PR manager in assistance at BAM BERLIN

The Netherlands:

“The tighter lockdown measures in the Netherlands didn’t go down without a fight as riots broke out all across the country when a new curfew was imposed. Stores were looted and retailers – that have been shut throughout the lockdown – took preventive measures to protect what they could. Meanwhile, everyone is asked to continue working from home and not to travel – not even by public transport unless absolutely necessary.”

– Wided Bouchrika – Benelux Lifestyle Researcher


“We got creative with quarantine shoots and styling vlogs during the first wave. After that, we started doing shoots again, but we need to stay flexible: one day you can book a make-up artist, the next the model needs to do her own make-up, part of the team can’t make it to Belgium or has to sit through quarantine. So calling the corona-hotline has become a big part of the job – which stayed pretty much the same, though without the fashion weeks, trips, events, and in-person interviews. I spend most of my time at home and on video calls.”

– Catherine Kosters, Writer & Fashion Editor at Flair.



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This blog post was a collaborative effort written by our in-house team of curators, who are experts in identifying relevant influencers, as well as building email lists of important contacts for our fashion and home & interior brands.





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