Lockdown 2021 Update: Scandinavia, Europe and the US


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 03.05.2021

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 May Update

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

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 and liberal professions are now open with restrictions. Restaurants and bars are open again, but can only be entered by representing a negative test result.

Spring sales fashion: Numbers from Statistics Denmark show that the fashion industry is booming after the reopening of Denmark. Retail Sales are up by 24,2 %, compared to March last year. Especially the clothing segment has seen an increase in sales by 112,1% compared to March 2020. (Source)

Sweden's May 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 but some offices have returned but have certain days where they work from home.  

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

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 May Update

Lockdown status: As of April 28th, 26% of Norway’s municipalities have local restrictions. A reopening plan has been announced, especially for those already vaccinated. This is scheduled for the second half of May. You are maximum allowed 10 people in private gatherings, and 20 outdoors. Restaurants and cafes are open under demand that everyone has to register by name. Bigger cities like Oslo have stricter restrictions, with museums, cultural centers, and most stores being closed. 

Travel advice: Everyone returning from what classifies as unnecessary travel abroad has to spend quarantine in a quarantined hotel. The fee for this is 500 NOK a night. Everyone coming from a “red” country has to present a covid-19 test at the border. Travel abroad is strongly advised against. Regionally, events that require traveling between different municipalities are recommended to be canceled.

Working regulations: Everyone should 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. Stores and malls are shut down on a regional level for shorter periods of time if necessary (these are changed on a weekly basis). For instance, retail in Oslo has been closed since March, with plans of opening up some time in the first weeks of May.

Spring sales home interior: In general, the pandemic has not affected the interior and home goods industry too badly. Norwegians love home renovations and home projects, and many have spent quarantine updating their homes. Several stores have offered online and click & collect alternatives to traditional shopping (especially stores in malls).

Spring sales fashion: Regulations have been stricter towards stores in malls. Fashion stores, especially slow fashion and independent ones, struggle to sell seasonal clothes, especially because restrictions change sporadically in areas with high infection rates.

France's May Update

Lockdown status: France is currently in lockdown with a curfew that prohibits outings from 6 PM to 6 AM and to go further than 10km from your home (with a few exceptions). However, President Emmanuel Macron has outlined a plan for the gradual reopening of the country. Starting May 19th museums, cinemas, shops, and outdoor service at cafes will open and the 7 PM curfew will be pushed back to 9 PM. The curfew is set to be removed on the 30th of June.

Travel advice: In the departments under lockdown, traveling between regions without an exceptional or professional reason is not allowed. International European borders remain open however travelers arriving in France from countries outside of the EU must present a negative COVID-19 test that is less than 72 hours old if they want to board a plane or a boat. Travelers can also take the test at their arrival.

Working regulations: Working from home is strongly recommended whenever possible. The government recommends 4 days of work at home. 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: Right now only essential shops and services are open. According to the gradual opening plan, shops and retailers should be reopening on the 19th of May.

Italy's May Update

Lockdown status: Many of Italy’s previous restrictions have been gradually relaxed from April 26th. Although restrictions vary in different regions, schools and “open-air business activities” will be the priorities for reopening. The nationwide 10 PM curfew stays in place.

Travel advice: Traveling rules vary, depending on the country of origin or destination and the reasons for traveling. Travel will once again be allowed between yellow zone regions however, non-essential travel between all regions is banned. There are no plans to relax the restrictions on international travel at this point.

Working regulations: Italians have returned to their home offices until further notice.

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

Retail status:  Currently, all retail is closed.

Germany's May Update

Lockdown status: Nationwide lockdown, extended until for now with a 9 PM curfew and no date set to change the lockdown status.

Travel advice: All travel banned for non-nationals & residents.

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

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

Retail status: Physical retail stores are open but can only be entered by presenting a negative test result.

The Netherlands's May Update

Lockdown status: First stage of the reopening plan.

Travel advice: All inbound travel banned for non-EU nationals & residents and for EU nationals & residents returning from Latin America, South Africa, or the UK, outbound travel banned with very few exceptions.

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

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

Retail status: Retail stores are open.

Belgium's May Update

Lockdown status: Nation-wide partial lockdown with a 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 is working from home.

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

Retail status: Retail stores are open.

The UK's May Update

Lockdown status: Nation-wide lockdown now beginning to be lifted.

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

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

Press status: Its best to contact the press via email

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

The US's May Update

Lockdown status: The US is generally open. Throughout March many states eased restrictions and in April many of them were lifted as vaccinations have started and is ongoing. No state has any stay-at-home orders or curfews.

Travel advice: Restrictions requiring people coming to the United States (including U.S. citizens) to have a negative covid-19 test result or documentation of recovery is still in effect. As are proclamations suspending and limiting entry into the United States, for noncitizens who have been to certain areas (China, Iran, European Schengen area, the UK, Republic of Ireland, Brazil and South Africa). The CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, however fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before or after travel unless their destination requires it. They also do not have to self-quarantine upon arrival. It is still advised to get tested, stay 6 feet apart and avoid crowds. 

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: The press is best contacted via either email or phone at the moment. 

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

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.



VOCAST - the Brand Sharing Platform

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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