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Lockdown Update: Scandinavia, Europe and the US

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As the world has been experiencing lockdowns this year 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.

What are office workflows like? Where do you have to wear a mask? 

How can you best get in touch with the press? 

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

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

Here is an update on the lockdown status of our 10 markets, updated as of 01.11.2020

Lifestyle industry updates

Lifestyle industry updates from 10 markets – Denmark to France, Italy to the US.

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.

Each country has been given a code: dark grey for full-lockdown, light grey for strict rules, green for relaxed regulations

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 November Update

Workflow & office regulations:

The evolution of Covid-19 in Denmark was not massively disruptive and the lifestyle industry was able to work close to their normal routines with few regulations. Now, the scenario has changed and the numbers of infected people are highly increasing. For that reason, the government has implemented further restrictions. Now all workplaces are encouraged to have their employees work from home to the best possible extent. Due to the fact that gatherings have been lowered to 10 people, the lifestyle industry might face some harder times again where it will be difficult or impossible to work at full capacity.

Retail status:

All non-essential stores, department stores, and shopping malls are open, but are now requiring the use of face masks while in store. Distance limitation is mandatory to ensure social distancing between customers and dispensers with hand sanitizer are placed at all entrances.

Sweden's November Update

Workflow & office regulations:

Business in Sweden is almost as usual but some restrictions are still put in place: offices are still encouraged to work from home and a limit of 50 people is allowed in social settings. When reaching out to Swedish contacts, grab a hold of the opportunity that editors and freelancers are on their emails and phones excited for new collaborative opportunities that can shine a light in times of uncertainty and an eventual financial crisis. 

Retail status:

Retail is rolling with mid-season sales but it is still struggling to keep numbers green, and employees are continuously furloughed. A survey that McKinsey & Company did in June 2020, shows that most consumers are cutting back on spending across all categories, except groceries. It is more obvious for in-store shopping than online. Hopefully, the commercial holidays like Black Friday and Christmas will help cure red numbers.

Norway's November Update

Workflow & office regulations:

Anyone able to work from home is doing so now in Norway. People are once again getting furloughed, but luckily businesses are more resilient and prepared than during the spring. Many offices have determined to stay working from home until the traditional flu season is over.

Retail status:

Stores are, for now, allowed to stay open and people are still shopping but in a very limited manner. The government has asked everyone to start their Christmas shopping early. Once again a strong digital presence seems to be the winning ticket.

France's November Update

With an average of 40.000 cases per day and an increased death toll, the French government has set new lockdown measures starting October 30th. Those measures are established for 4 weeks across the whole country.

Workflow & office regulations:

Working from home is mandatory whenever possible to reduce the number of people at the workplace. For those who can’t work from home, alternating days between home and the workplace must be encouraged.

As a result, receptionists in most publishing houses are no longer picking up the phone. Reaching out by email is now preferable, as most journalists are back to working from home.

Influencers are responsive. However, given the current situation in France with the drastic increase in the number of cases and recent terror attacks, we advise you to act and communicate carefully with French contacts and be extremely mindful.

Retail status:

Non-essential shops are closed down again, only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies are allowed to be open. Wearing a mask is mandatory upon entry into stores. In light of the lockdown, many french people started their Christmas shopping 2-3 weeks early. Extremely long queues could be observed on the 29th of October in non-essential stores before the national lockdown.

Italy's November Update

Workflow & office regulations:

Covid-19 is back in Italy with full force. The number of cases and the death rates are increasing dramatically and the country is once again mobilized. The Italian government is imposing tough local restrictions around the country such as curfews, forcing non-essential shops to close at earlier hours. People are strongly advised to work from home and publishing houses are still closed, and editors are reachable via email. Influencers are very responsive and open to collaborations.

Retail status:

Regional restrictions may have shops and bars closing at earlier hours and masks are mandatory at all times. The delayed sales seasons have put a lot of pressure on the fashion industry and many companies are going through different degrees of the financial crisis. However, compared to this spring, some companies are starting to see some slow but positive developments on their profit and loss sheets.

Germany's November Update

Workflow & office regulations:

Workflow and office regulations are starting to change again. With the rise in Covid-19 numbers, offices are encouraged to work from home to contact to a minimum, since the new “Lockdown-Light” as it is being called, was introduced on 1. November, Journalists and Editors can still be contacted via E-mail.

Retail status:

Since May, all shops and retail stores have been open. However, hygienic requirements must be followed and rules have gotten more strict again. Access to shops must be controlled, queues avoided, face masks must be worn and a maximum number of people (customers and staff) must be specified in the area. Not more than one customer per 10 square meters is allowed within a store. Restaurants, gyms, theatres, beauty salons etc. have had to close again.

The Netherlands's November Update

Workflow & office regulations:

In The Netherlands, the advice is to work from home unless it’s absolutely impossible. In the case of an infection, the whole workplace can be shut down for 14 days. This means that some journalists are responsive and answering their emails while others are less available due to filled mailboxes. Influencers and their agencies are still very responsive.

Retail status:

All stores are open until 20:00 and social distancing measures of 1.5 meters are still required to keep safety. Events are prohibited, cafes, bars, and restaurants are closed, and it’s prohibited to sell, buy, or carry alcohol between 20:00 and 07:00.

Belgium's November Update

Belgium announced a nation-wide lockdown starting from 2. November until at least 13. December.

Workflow & office regulations:

Working from home is now absolutely mandatory. When not possible, keeping a social distance of 1.5 meters is required between colleagues. Most journalists have not stopped working from home since the first lockdown in spring, their response time may vary. However, influencers are still very quick to reply.

Retail status:

Only essential stores like supermarkets, bakeries and pharmacies are open. People can only shop in groups of 2 and for a maximum of 30 minutes. Flea markets and Christmas markets are shut down. Only market stalls offering essentials like food are allowed to open. All other retail, bars, coffee shops and restaurants are closed. In Brussels and Wallonia, people are only allowed to go shopping alone and there’s a curfew at 10 PM. Flanders has a curfew starting at midnight. In all regions the basics of wearing a mask and keeping 1.5m social distance remain mandatory.

The UK's November Update

A nationwide lockdown across England was announced at the end of October. The lockdown will last throughout November – all other UK nations (Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) are exempt from this full lockdown but all have tight restrictions in place.

Workflow & office regulations:

England is now back in lockdown. This means that everyone in the country, apart from key workers, must work from home again. The new lockdown will continue until the end of November but may be extended.

Although most offices and other workplaces opened over the summer, many workplaces continued to work from home and with the new lockdown in England, this will of course continue. It is therefore most efficient to contact editors and journalists via email, as none will be in the office and may not have access to a work phone number or the reception desk.

Retail status:

All retail stores will be closed throughout England in November. Only essential shops, supermarkets, and drugstores will be open. Retailers in the rest of the UK have social distancing regulations and masks must be worn.

The US's November Update

Workflow & office regulations:

As the US never went into full lockdown, different states, cities and companies have their own policies. In general, it is best to assume that employees in the American lifestyle industry are working from home. Industry professionals such as the press are reachable through email and sometimes on their personal phones, however, there can sometimes be delays due to teams working remotely, different publishing houses have varying rules for their employees.

Retail status:

As different states have imposed different lockdown rules and regulations, it depends on the area if high street retailers are open or not. In some states, and then again in some stores, face masks should be worn and hand sanitizers are available upon entrances and exits.

Local insight

Local insight into our 10 markets comes straight from the experiences and knowledge of our native lifestyle and market researchers.

Are you planning to travel for work, and want to know what the hygiene or quarantine regulations will be upon your arrival? How social will you be able to be during your stay? These questions are answered for you below.

Each country has been given a code: dark grey for full-lockdown, light grey for strict rules, green for relaxed regulations

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 November Update

Travel corridors:

The Danish citizens are still being dissuaded from all unnecessary travels. In correlation to the increasing numbers of people infected by Covid-19 in Denmark, more countries have been added to the “quarantine list” and border control has been increased when entering Denmark. People who are residents in high-risk countries now have to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test before entering Denmark, among these countries are France, Italy & Austria.

General hygiene & social activities:

Due to the increasing numbers of people infected by Covid-19, face masks are now mandatory not only in public transportation, cafes, restaurant, and bars – but in all indoor places with public access. This includes grocery stores, malls, libraries, museums, cinemas, youth education, and health care. Gatherings have been further lowered from 50 to now only 10 people and the government is appealing to all unnecessary gatherings with a primary social agenda to be cancelled. Furthermore, bars, cafés and restaurants still have to close by 22:00 every night. Nightclubs and discos are still temporarily closed until further notice.

Sweden's November Update

Travel corridors:

The recommendation against all unnecessary traveling is still in place regarding countries marked red on Sweden’s Foreign Ministry’s website, these countries include the US (until Nov 15th) among other non-EU nations.

General hygiene & social activities:

A limit of 50 people at social gatherings is still in place which means that weddings and parties are asked to keep this restriction in mind. From the 1st of November it will be possible for public events to have a seated audience of 300 people in the venue.

Norway's November Update

Travel corridors:

All international travel is discouraged and most countries, including ALL European destinations, are by Norwegian standards marked “red”, meaning it is impossible to travel without being mandatory quarantined for 10 days upon return.

General hygiene & social activities:

The most invasive limitations for social activities have once again become the norm and no more than 5 people are allowed to meet in private homes (outside the people you live with). In public transport, people are asked to wear face coverings if they cannot contain the 1 meter distance recommended.

France's November Update

With an average of 40.000 cases per day and an increased death toll, the French government has set new lockdown measures starting October 30th. Those measures are established for 4 weeks across the whole country.

Travel corridors:

Traveling within France is no longer permitted. You may only leave your home with an exemption certificate for urgent family or professional reasons and urgent medical or juristic appointments. Traveling across the European Union member states is still allowed but all travelers must be tested at airports and ports. External borders with countries outside the EU are closed off.

General hygiene & social activities:

A general curfew from 21:00 to 06:00 went to effect in Paris and its nearby departments as well as eight other big areas including Lyon, Marseille and Nice. French people are only allowed to go out for 1 hour for recreational needs. Groups of more than 6 people in public places are forbidden and student parties are strictly prohibited. In enclosed public spaces you must wear a mask at all times. Local authorities may decide further restrictions. In some cities (including Paris) it may be required to wear a mask outside as well. Those who do not comply will be fined 135€ while repeated offends could get you find up to 3750€.

Italy's November Update

Travel corridors:

Domestic travels have been allowed since June 2nd and the borders have been opened for the EU and other European countries. Italians and foreigners are free to enter and travel, and body temperatures can be measured by the borders, restaurants, bars, and airports. Public transport is open and allowed whilst practicing social distance.

General hygiene & social activities:

Following the general European trend, Italy is experiencing a second wave with an increase in infections and deaths. Masks are mandatory in in-door public spaces, but many people in the larger cities put masks on as they step outside. The government is currently imposing local restrictions such as nighttime curfews, such as the one regarding Milan starting at 18:00. This means that the Milanese are not allowed to step outside after the indicated hour and all non-essential activities must close.

Germany's November Update

Travel corridors:

Denmark has been named a high-risk zone for Germany amongst many other countries, which means compulsory self-quarantining for 14 days when traveling to Germany from Copenhagen, as well as other risk zones. When returning from a risk area it is also compulsory to take a Covid-19 test at the airport, which is no longer free of charge. Covid Testing is priced at around 150€, depending on location. Going against quarantine guidelines can result in a fine or even a prison sentence.

When traveling to Germany, only essential trips will be allowed. Hotels etc. are only allowed to house guests traveling for a valid reason, not tourists.

General hygiene & social activities:

The contact restrictions in Germany have increased. Every state is still responsible for the implementation of federal regulations, which can slightly differ from each other. Hygienic regulations, such as a 1.5-meter distance and wearing masks in public areas, still apply in all states. The public still has to wear masks in public places, including public transport, shops, and stores. It is also mandatory to wear a mask outside, when in certain busy “risk zones” in the larger cities. Refusal to wear masks can result in a fine of 50€ upwards.
When meeting with people you are allowed to be a maximum of two different households and be a maximum of 10 people in total.

The Netherlands's November Update

Travel corridors:

The Netherlands uses a color-coded map that gets updated regularly to indicate positive (yellow) and negative (orange) travel advice. People returning to or entering the Netherlands from orange zones need to get tested and enter a 10-day quarantine at home. People can apply for their loved ones from other countries to enter the Netherlands for a period of a maximum of 90 days.

General hygiene & social activities:

It is advised to avoid travel as much as possible. It is mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport and in indoor public spaces. There’s a limit of 3 house guests a day. The maximum indoor capacity is 30 people with a 1.5-meter social distance between guests, and indoors as well as outdoors there’s a maximum of 4 people from different households per individual group.

Belgium's November Update

Belgium announced a nation-wide lockdown starting from 2. November until at least 13. December.

Travel corridors:

Couples who have been separated because they live in different countries will be allowed to cross the border if they can prove their relationship is sustainable. People returning to or entering Belgium after being abroad for more than 48 hours need to fill out the Passenger Locator Form. Belgium uses color-codes to indicate travel advice to countries and regions. Anyone returning from a red zone needs to get tested and stay in quarantine. People returning from an orange zone are advised to do the same.

General hygiene & social activities:

It is mandatory to wear a mask in indoor public places, on public transport and in outdoor crowded places where social distancing rules cannot be maintained. People are allowed to move around freely, though it is advised to avoid unnecessary travel. Only one close contact is allowed per household. Outdoors, there’s a limit of 4 people per group.

The UK's November Update

A nationwide lockdown across England was announced at the end of October. The lockdown will last throughout November – all other UK nations (Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) are exempt from this full lockdown but all have tight restrictions in place.

Travel corridors:

The UK still has travel corridors for essential travel, however, if you are traveling to England you must be aware that the country is currently in lockdown and you will have to be in isolation during your stay. The lockdown in England means that you can only leave isolation to go to essential shops or for medical care. When entering any country in the UK, every person must complete a track-and-trace form provided by the government which acts as a legal declaration of your stay in the country.

General hygiene & social activities:

As well as an emphasis on social distancing and hygiene regulations, it is mandatory to wear face masks on public transport, in stores, and in all indoor public spaces in the UK. The lockdown in England means that no cultural, hospitality or free time activities will be open.

The US's November Lockdown

Travel corridors:

US residents can travel internationally to some countries, however, many countries do not advise their own residents to travel to the US and vice versa. As the regulations are also different from state to state within the US, it is important to check whether or not you are eligible for entry to the States and what the restrictions will be for you upon arrival.

General hygiene & social activities:

The US never imposed a nationwide lockdown and social distancing, general hygiene precautions, and face mask regulations vary throughout the whole country.

On top of the high rates of infection and unemployment, nationwide protests, and natural disasters the US has faced this year, the election will take place this month and the nation is deeply divided. It has been a trying year for many in the US and it is important to be patient and sensitive when in contact with individuals in the American market.

In the words of a journalist…

VOCAST’s Benelux Lifestyle Researcher spoke to a journalist from Knack Weekend Magazine about what life in the Belgian publishing industry has been like since lockdown and how their work has changed.

Lotte Philipsen, Lifestyle and Fashion Journalist at Knack Weekend

“Work has pretty much turned into a desk job. Research, interviews, finding inspiration: it all happens from home. I’ve done a ‘real’ interview once since, but most interviews happen on the phone, Zoom or Skype. Going out for events or reports has become a rare thing – I haven’t been on one. It does happen, but always on a very small scale, mostly outdoors, with mouth masks when required – and of course, social distancing. When it comes to big international events, I don’t believe there are (m)any Belgian journalists planning on going to fashion weeks right now, or in any case, no full weeks.”
 

 

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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