Shock pics reveal how COVID has changed our world


A year ago, who would have thought we'd be where we are now? The coronavirus has turned our world upside down and changed the way we live our lives, perhaps forever.

Australia has been lauded around the world at the way the country has managed the spread of the virus. Other countries have not been so lucky.

Here, we look at the global situation as it stands now, and show the toll - via some before and after images - that COVID has taken around the world.



After emerging from a second lockdown, England has now entered into a three-tier system of restrictions, Northern Ireland is in a two-week circuit-breaker lockdown, and Scotland has its own five-tier system.

Across the UK, some restrictions will be relaxed over Christmas, to allow three households to form a "Christmas bubble", according to the BBC.



In England, all areas have been placed in one of three tiers: medium, high and very high. About 99 per cent of England has been placed into the high and very high coronavirus risk category - tiers two and three.

Pubs and bars are open, but only if they serve food.





America has been hardest hit by the pandemic with close to 16 million national cases, almost 300,000 deaths and new cases continuing to spread out of control around the country.

The states have their own localised restrictions and there is currently not a national mandate.

As cases spike in states such as Texas, Florida and much of the South, President-elect Joe Biden announced he would bring in a national mandate that masks must be worn when Americans are outside their homes.





In New York, masks are currently mandatory both inside stores and outside. As of Monday (local time), New York will again cease all indoor dining (it had only reopened at 25 per cent capacity). The Big Apple is also likely to head back into a strict lockdown as numbers are surging. All schools have gone back to remote learning.

California remains in strict lockdown with a stay-at-home order in place, except to go to an essential job or to shop for essential needs.




Spain, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, remains under a nationwide curfew and state of emergency until early May 2021.

People must stay at home between 11pm and 6am, and are only allowed out to go to work, buy medicine, or care for elderly people or children.

Public and private gatherings are limited to six people, and anyone aged over six years of age must wear a face covering on public transport and in indoor public spaces nationwide.

Face masks are also compulsory outdoors in many regions. Anyone travelling to Spain must have a negative coronavirus test from the previous 72 hours.





Italy, which has the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe, imposed a nationwide curfew from 10pm to 5am in an effort to clamp down on its second wave of coronavirus.

A three-tier zone framework and extra nationwide restrictions are now in force.

Inside areas designated red zones, where the virus is most prevalent, Italians are only permitted to walk or bike rides outside if they stay near their homes, although no specific distance has been given in the regulations.



Red zones, or areas with the most infections, closed all bars, restaurants and most shops, including salons and beauticians. Factories and essential services, including pharmacies and supermarkets, remain open. In orange zones, restaurants and bars have closed, but hairdressers and beauty salons are open. In yellow zones, restaurants and bars can stay open until 6pm, but museums, theatres, cinemas, gyms and swimming pools are closed, as in the rest of the country.

Gatherings for weddings, baptisms and funerals are banned, older school pupils have switched to remote learning, and masks must be worn everywhere, except at home.





Germany will go into a hard lockdown over the Christmas period as the number of deaths and infections from the coronavirus reaches record levels.

Non-essential shops will close across the country from Wednesday, as will schools, with children to be cared for at home wherever possible.

Germany was earlier seen as a model example on how to handle the pandemic, but there has been a recent surge in cases.

Chancellor Angela Merkel blamed Christmas shopping for a "considerable" rise in social contacts.

The latest figures showed 20,200 more infections and a further 321 deaths.

The new lockdown will run from 16 December to 10 January. Announcing the move after meeting leaders of the country's 16 states, Mrs Merkel said there was "an urgent need to take action".





A second lockdown has eased in recent weeks in France, although President Emmanuel Macron has urged citizens to remain cautious and avoid a resurgence over the holiday season.

As such, bars and restaurants remain closed until mid-January. Stores, however, are open.

Fans won't be allowed to attend sporting events until the beginning of 2021, and even then the number of spectators in stadiums will be limited

Internal European borders remain open but external borders are closed except for essential travel. All travellers arriving in France will be tested at airports and ports.

Masks must be worn at all times.




China has been out of widespread lockdown since the government declared the coronavirus pandemic under control in March, with the exception of flare-ups in some cities and localised lockdowns of the residents there.

Now, China mostly follows Beijing's recommendations as the population goes about work, business, travel, and socialising, wearing masks as happened during the SARS epidemic.



It comes after China responded swiftly to the pandemic with strict localised lockdowns of Wuhan and nearby cities in Hubei province, putting at least 50 million people under a mandatory quarantine from January 23.



Wuhan was placed under a strict lockdown that lasted 76 days. Public transport was suspended.

By early April, lockdowns had ended or relaxed as cases started to dwindle and the outbreak had come under control.









A nationwide lockdown has been in force since March.

The scale of India's restrictions were unique, bringing the country of more than 1.3 billion people in 82 districts in 22 states where confirmed cases had been reported to a sudden halt. 80 cities including major metropolises such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata were also put under lockdown until March 31.

While the Modi government shut down the Indian Railways and interstate bus services, migrant workers who lost their jobs in the cities and had no money to buy food had to walk home to where they came from.

This resulted in a mass migration that caused chaos, starvation and deaths.





Saudi Arabia continues to exist under one of the world's strictest lockdowns. The Arab state formed a police unit to monitor violations of its coronavirus lockdown rules and banned gatherings of more than five people.

The kingdom had already prohibited gatherings of more than one family. Fines of up to 100,000 riyals ($A35,000) were to be enforced to groups larger than one family gathering in public and private spaces, including homes, construction sites and shops. The same rule applied for parties, weddings and funerals.




Saudi Arabia also introduced stringent penalties for residents and citizens found to violate other preventive measures such as fines of up to 200,000 riyals ($A72,000) and two years in prison, while those found to have intentionally spread the virus could face a fine of up to 500,000 riyals ($A179,000) and up to five years in prison. Non-Saudi offenders would be deported and permanently barred from re-entering.



Turkey ordered residents back into lockdown earlier this month as cases spiralled out of control. The one quirk: the order did not apply to tourists. President Tayyip Erdogan announced the tighter restrictions in response to a coronavirus surge that has brought reported daily cases and deaths to levels last seen in late April, just after the initial peak of the pandemic.




Japan has been successful at managing the virus with just over 150,000 testing positive, but there has been a spike in daily cases as Christmas approaches. The government, however, has resisted stricter lockdown measures for fear of hurting the economy. There has been no official lockdown but schools have been shut since the beginning of March.

Japan issued a non-binding state of emergency in the early months of the pandemic and has survived earlier infection peaks without a lockdown, although schools have remained shut since March. Experts say the ongoing resurgence in the dry and cold season would be a bigger challenge.





Egypt has again tightened coronavirus restrictions ahead of the second wave of the pandemic, while a cabinet report affirmed that the country has a stock of drugs, used in the treatment of the COVID-19 disease, that lasts for up to six-nine months.

Up to now, the country's population of more than 100 million has avoided the surge in infections seen in European countries.




The Indonesian government was slow to respond to the pandemic, bringing in restrictions in September where offices closed and workers were obliged to work from home aside from 11 essential business categories decreed by the government.



In October, restaurants and movie theatres were allowed to admit customers at half capacity as stipulated in the regulation on transitional lockdown, among other stipulations.

Indonesian media have slammed President Joko Widodo's handling of the pandemic.




Victoria has endured the nation's toughest lockdown, but restrictions have now eased and Victorians, who no longer have to wear masks outdoors, can now have up to 30 guests from outside of their family back in their homes.



Pubs and restaurants will be able to have one person per two square metres for indoor and outdoor venues, with no cap on the number of patrons.

Restrictions on weddings, funerals and religious gatherings have also been eased, moving to a one person to two square metre rule.

Queensland has reopened its border to South Australia and one way travel is allowed one-way from New Zealand to the sunshine state.

WA has now opened its borders to Victoria and NSW. The state also opened its border to South Australia but travellers must still qurantine for 14 days.



Originally published as Then and now: Shock pics reveal how COVID has changed our world

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