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Orderly Andorra has an unusual system for easing lockdown restrictions

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Orderly Andorra has an unusual system for easing lockdown restrictions
Copyright  YAMIL LAGE/AFP
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Andorra, the landlocked nation wedged between France and Spain, has adopted a unique way of easing lockdown restrictions.

Those who live in even-numbered homes are allowed to go out on even dates, while those who reside in odd-numbered homes on all other days.

Houses without a number will go out on even dates if the name of occupants begins with A-M, and odd days if it starts with N-Z.

The easing of the lockdown began last Thursday and was for people to leave their homes for an hour to exercise.

"This is not 'no restrictions' but rather [phasing in] exceptions to the lockdown,” health minister Joan Martínez Benazet clarified.

As well as an orderly system for allowing citizens out of their homes, they also have to respect strict time slots for various activities.

Running or walking fast can take place between 6 am and 9 am or from 6 pm to 9 pm. Andorrans can shop or stroll between 9 am and 11 am or between 2 pm and 7 pm. The time between 11 am and 2 pm is reserved for vulnerable and elderly populations to get out of the house.

When they leave the house, Andorrans must stay a distance of four metres from others and wear face masks.

Citizens are advised to walk on the right-hand side in the same direction as vehicles to ensure that they keep a distance from others.

Andorra has just 717 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 37 people have died, yet it is ranked among the countries with the highest deaths per million inhabitants.

That is because its population is just 77,000 and the calculation extrapolates its death toll as if it had a million inhabitants.

Official figures, the government says, are accurate because all suspect cases have been tested and “even those who die undergo post-mortem analysis”.

There are plans in place to start testing the entire population in the coming days.

Andorra is, like many other countries, very dependent on tourism and is preparing for an economic crash.

The government is drawing up a financial and economic recovery plan to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.