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Back to life: How Europe is unlocking the coronavirus lockdown

The big read: Many countries are easing restrictions brought in during the Covid-19 pandemic, but setbacks seem inevitable on the road to normality, writes John Meagher

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Queues: Ikea reopens a store near Copenhagen for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus

Queues: Ikea reopens a store near Copenhagen for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus

via REUTERS

Back to school: Teacher Marie Kaas-Larsen and her pupils of the Norrebro Park primary school warm up in a Copenhagen park on Thursday after Danish pupils recently returned to lessons

Back to school: Teacher Marie Kaas-Larsen and her pupils of the Norrebro Park primary school warm up in a Copenhagen park on Thursday after Danish pupils recently returned to lessons

AFP via Getty Images

Confusion over closures: Fionnuala Zinnecker with 
son Darragh

Confusion over closures: Fionnuala Zinnecker with son Darragh

Berlin resident: Wexford musician Wallis Bird

Berlin resident: Wexford musician Wallis Bird

Playing it safe: Denmark resident Laura McAtackney

Playing it safe: Denmark resident Laura McAtackney

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Queues: Ikea reopens a store near Copenhagen for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus

The queues began outside the Ikea store at Taastrup, on the outskirts of Copenhagen, on Monday morning. Within a couple of hours, the line was more than 100 metres long.

It was a similar scene at Denmark's four other Ikea outlets, and it was a sight that continued throughout the week as Danes sought a fragment of normality.

The country's business minister, Simon Kollerup, expressed his frustration that the flat-pack furniture retailer had opened its doors. The Danish policy was to allow smaller shops to reopen the previous week on the basis that they could manage social distancing better. Ikea announced that, because it had voluntarily closed six weeks before, it had a right to reopen and insisted it would ensure that customers would be kept apart.