Targeted restrictive measures, isolation, quarantines – the coronavirus continues to dictate its terms, retreating for a short time and again showing aggression.
With Christmas approaching, I really want to forget about two-year horrors and plunge headlong into the festive atmosphere! But – alas, many European countries are again forced to endure severe restrictions. On the situation in Austria and Germany, we have already told – the first one again announced a lockdown, the second one is close to it. But not only there, the upcoming holidays are not at all pleasing.
Almost two long years have passed since the outbreak of the pandemic, which mercilessly claimed more than 5.1 million lives. And today, despite tough and prolonged restrictions in some countries, the number of new cases of coronavirus continues to increase. Moreover, in recent days, according to WHO, the number of deaths in Europe has increased by 10%. This means that it has once again become the epicenter of a pandemic.
The explanations are the same – insufficient vaccination rate, cold snap, mask fatigue, decreased protection after 6 months after vaccinations. Holiday mobility will soon be added to this list, which will further exacerbate the epidemiological situation in many countries. Anticipating this, the governments of states where there is already a significant deterioration in the situation are afraid to be late with the introduction of new measures. Today the situation in European countries is as follows.
Austria: 20 days isolation. It is the first European country to reintroduce a national lacdown for everyone, regardless of vaccine availability. From February 1, vaccination against coronavirus in the country becomes mandatory for everyone.
Germany: hesitates for now, but the possibility of blocking is open. The government is hesitant to predict what Christmas will be like. Bavaria has canceled Christmas shopping as new cases rise. In some areas, only vaccinated people are allowed to enter restaurants, gyms and public places. In areas where the hospitalization rate exceeds a certain threshold, access to social, cultural and sporting events is limited only to those who have been vaccinated and who have had covid disease. The number of daily cases of COVID-19 this week was 30,000-50,000.
Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland have been classified as high-risk areas for Germany since Sunday, according to the Robert Koch Institute. disease will be quarantined for 10 days. However, he will be able to take the test after the 5th day, and, in case of a negative result, he will be released from this unpleasant duty.
Belgium: tougher measures. Last Wednesday, four days of teleworking became mandatory. Visiting the office is allowed once a week until December 12, then you can work in it 2 days a week. The requirements for wearing masks have been expanded – they are mandatory indoors and outdoors for everyone over 10 years old. A vaccination certificate is required to attend an event with up to 50 people indoors and over 100 outdoors.
Netherlands: partial 3 weeks isolation. Bars and restaurants close at 20:00. In stores – a must-have mask. Half of the schools are distance learning. Holiday fireworks are prohibited. Almost 85% of the population is fully vaccinated, but 20,000 new cases were reported for two consecutive days this week.
France: waiting for the development of events. On Wednesday, 20,294 cases of infection were recorded. The authorities are talking about the fifth wave. But the government is not yet ready to introduce new measures. President Macron does not want to follow the example of other European countries, but the chief scientific adviser to the French government, Jean-François Delfresi, does not rule out the introduction of remote work.
Ireland: Restaurants and nightclubs close after midnight and require a vaccination certificate to enter. Remote work is recommended whenever possible. Fully vaccinated 90% of the population over 12 years old. The number of new infections is comparable to the record in January last year.
Portugal: It is planned to use the mask not only indoors, but also outdoors, although 87.8% of citizens are vaccinated in the country. Its use is still recommended at rallies and in cases where it is impossible to maintain distancing. Prime Minister Antonio Costa hints that some restrictions may be imposed on the eve of the holidays. During the period of the pandemic, the country recorded 1.1 million cases of the disease and 18,283 deaths.
Italy: planning restrictive measures, but only for the unvaccinated. Bans on restaurants and ski slopes are possible. The rest is in the process of discussion.
Sweden: Certificate of vaccination will need to be presented from December 1st to attend events with more than 100 participants. Since November 1, tests for vaccinated people have been canceled, even if they have symptoms. Now this controversial decision is annulled.
Switzerland: no new restrictive measures are even planned, although the number of new cases has quadrupled over the past month and peaked in 2021. A week later, on November 28, a vote will take place on the coronavirus law, which will allow the required decisions to be made promptly. 65% of citizens are vaccinated. Last week, the number of hospitalized patients increased by 25% and the number of deaths by 80% (to 53 deaths). The government fears a sharp overcrowding of hospitals with Covid patients with the arrival of the winter cold.
Czech Republic: from Monday only measures for the unvaccinated are introduced. They will not have access to events, restaurants and hotels even if they test negative. The country reported 22,479 cases last Tuesday, a record for a country. Only 58% of the population of the Czech Republic is fully vaccinated.
Slovakia: isolation of the unvaccinated from Monday. With a population of 5.5 million people on Tuesday, the number of new infections per day increased to 8,000. From Monday, only vaccinated people will be able to visit restaurants, shopping centers, shops, sports and social events. So far, the measures are being introduced for 3 weeks. Testing is required for unvaccinated employees. Only 42.6% of the population are vaccinated, compared with 65% on average for the EU.
Denmark: “health passports” with a vaccination mark are required for visits to cafes, restaurants, nursing homes, events with more than 200 people. The measure is valid throughout the country.
Greece: starting tomorrow, Monday 22 November, the country starts to operate new restrictive measuresannounced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. They significantly limit opportunities unvaccinated citizens and encouraged to get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, forecasts for a pandemic are disappointing. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health T.H. Chan states that delta-like strains will prolong the pandemic indefinitely, and coronavirus will not go anywhere…