New cancellations prove lifting coronavirus restrictions won’t be easy

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Even with many former coronavirus hotspots seeing a reduction in new deaths and hospitalizations, a flurry of cancellations of major events made it clear Wednesday that efforts to return to normal life could still be a long and dispiriting process.

In just the past day, the U.S. scrapped the national spelling bee in June, Spain called off the Running of the Bulls in July, and Germany cancelled Oktoberfest five months away. Singapore, once a model of coronavirus tracking and prevention, saw an explosion of new cases and announced it would extend its lockdown into June.

Nevertheless there was growing impatience over virus-related shutdowns that have thrown tens of millions out of work, and more countries and U.S. states began taking steps to get back to business.

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Business owners in the U.S. who got the go-ahead weighed whether to reopen, and some hesitated, in a sign that commerce won’t necessarily bounce back right away.

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Mark Lebos, owner of Strong Gym in Savannah, Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp announced that gyms and salons can reopen this week, said Tuesday that it would be professional negligence to do so right now.

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