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Covid-19: List of current restrictions in EU countries

COVID-19: LIST OF CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN EU COUNTRIESWith some European countries recently recording the most cases for 2 years, almost all countries in the European Union,  UK included, have already re-introduced some containment measures to prevent family get-togethers (which have not yet been banned in any country yet) in an effort to prevent additional pressure on health systems.

The World Health Organization has already warned: another 700,000 people could die by March 2022, in Europe and Asia alone, if nothing is done. Tests for travel is a measure that almost everyone has taken out of the drawer again – it’s not enough to be vaccinated.

Here is a list of some restrictions reintroduced in some countries of the EU and the United Kingdom:

It is one of the countries with the most restrictive measures – and life is becoming very difficult for those who are not vaccinated. If not vaccinated, a worker residing in Germany must have a negative test to access offices, businesses or public transport. Only those who are fully vaccinated can access spaces such as theatres, cinemas and restaurants and other public events in closed spaces and vaccination has become mandatory for those working in health centres, hospitals and nursing homes. Those who are not vaccinated can only invite a maximum of two people to their home, from a single household outside their home. 

Kindergartens and primary schools closed for the Christmas season a week earlier than expected, and everyone over six years old must wear a mask indoors. All events held in closed spaces have a maximum capacity of 200 people. Discos closed in November and restaurants and bars have to close at 11 pm, until there is an improvement in the number of cases.

Since December 3rd, all people who arrive in Norway, vaccinated or not, must have a negative test carried out within the previous 24 hours. Teleworking for those who can opt for it is mandatory, as is the use of masks in most closed spaces. Schools closed on the 13th, this Monday, almost two weeks ahead of schedule. In addition, from Wednesday 15th, neither bars nor restaurants can serve alcohol.

There are no new restrictions yet but the government will meet today, Friday 17th December, and most Irish newspapers anticipate further measures coming in to force.

It is one of the countries where the population is most opposed to restrictions related to the containment of the pandemic. But the interim prime minister, Mark Rutte, has not been at all receptive to the demands of this significant part of the population, constantly criticizing those who do not want to be vaccinated. The schools, which should only close on the 25th, will close from 20th December until January 14th, at least.  Bars and restaurants can only be open until 5pm. Spectators are not allowed at sporting events. Since November 28th, the Dutch can only have a maximum of four people in their home. UPDATE: as of Dec 19th 2021, total lockdown is in place, until at least Jan 14th 2022.

This is the country where the biggest street protests have taken place. Some 40,000 people gathered in Vienna earlier this month to protest the confinement – which Austria was the first, and so far only, European Union country to re-impose. For almost three weeks (it ended on Monday), Austrians could only go out to buy food, go to the pharmacy and work if telecommuting was not possible, as t was in the worst days of 2020. Theatres, museums and restaurants opened again, but with more time restrictions – the maximum is until 23:00. Parliament is considering making the vaccine mandatory from February 1st, a step that no democratic country in the world has yet adopted for the entire population.

The Queen cancelled the big Christmas lunch with the family, a very old tradition in the British royal family. It is a clear signal to the citizens that this is going to be another atypical Christmas. The sacrifice is hard, but even the queen, who is 94 years old, will give up being with her family.

Masks are once again mandatory on public transport and shops, everyone entering the UK must remain in quarantine for at least two days – until the mandatory Day 2 test result on arrival – and proof of vaccination or test is required to enter large events. 

Since December 1st, all people arriving from the UK who are not residents of an EU country must be vaccinated and those travelling from risk areas such as London must also test negative. In all regions there are different measures, but most now ask for proof of vaccination, recovery or test to enter all enclosed spaces.

In Paris, masks are mandatory again almost everywhere, including open spaces and all closed public spaces, even cinemas and restaurants, where they were not mandatory before. Proof of vaccination or test must also be presented. Local authorities in the rest of the country have the power to decide to impose the use of masks outdoors, if they deem it necessary. “The incidence rate in Paris, which was between 50 and 100 cases per 100,000 people in October, has rapidly increased to 266 cases per 100,000 people by the end of November, and the increase shows no signs of slowing down,” the city council statement said. UK travel to France will be “severely inspected” from Saturday, the prime minister’s office have said.

Admissions will also be more controlled: anyone who wants to enter Italy during the festive season will have to submit a covid-1 test, something that was not necessary previously for residents of the Schengen Area.

From Tuesday, the 21st December, Sweden will start asking its Nordic neighbors (Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland) for a negative test to enter the country. Sweden only very occasionally restricted any activity of its population during these nearly two years of the pandemic.

Apart from the test or proof of vaccination to enter the country, the Greek government has not imposed any new measures in the last two weeks. Vaccination is, however, mandatory for anyone over 60 – there is a fine of 100 euros for anyone discovered without it.

It is one of the countries where the imposition of measures is very poorly regarded by the population. Even so, the government has decided that restaurants, cinemas, theatres, stores and other enclosed spaces can only have 50% of their capacity, but people who are fully vaccinated do not get included in these numbers, and can always enter with just proof of vaccination.

One of the least vaccinated countries in the EU again eased restrictions imposed in October and November this year, the most drastic period of the pandemic for this country. Cafes, bars and restaurants can be open again until 10 pm (an hour later than last week) and masks are not mandatory, only in small, closed spaces. Only 40% of the population is vaccinated.

DISCUSS: Do you think restrictions should be set across the board for EU countries? Are the current restrictions too tough – or not tough enough?


Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/