How UK lockdown rules stack up against Covid restrictions in France, Germany and the rest of Europe


As France and Germany brace for national lockdowns in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the UK is sticking to local lockdowns amid an increase in cases and deaths.Last month, countries in Europe implemented tougher and tighter measures as infections rise for a second wave.

The UK, which has recorded the highest number of Covid-19-related deaths in Europe, has taken a different path by implementing a tiered system in an attempt to bypass the negative impact of a general lockdown.

Here’s how the UK compares to the rest of Europe and how these measures have played out:

What has happened in Europe in the past two months?

France and Germany must begin a national lockdown in a return to first wave measures (Photo: AP)

September 8

UK – Social gatherings of more than six people are announced to be illegal in England from September 14.

September 11th

Germany – German authorities announce an alcohol ban in certain areas of Würzburg to prevent outdoor parties.

September 18

UK – Parts of north-west England, West Yorkshire and the Midlands will face severe new restrictions in response to a large increase in cases.

September 19

UK – The government is warning people in England who refuse to self-isolate will face fines of up to £ 10,000.

September 22

UK – Boris Johnson announces new restrictions, including a 10 p.m. curfew in pubs, bars and restaurants in England from September 24, while face masks are made mandatory in more situations and limits for weddings and receptions are reduced to 15 people maximum.

Scotland and Northern Ireland depart from this by announcing the ban on mixing households indoors, while Wales includes a ban on the sale of alcohol in non-licensees and supermarkets after 10 p.m. in addition to the curfew in reception areas.

October 1

Sweden – Government lifts national ban on visits to retirement homes for the elderly, but simultaneously applies a new rule that people in Sweden who live in the same household as a person infected with Covid-19 must now self-isolate home.

October 2

Spain – Officials say residents of Madrid and nine cities around the capital will face further restrictions. People can travel outside of their home neighborhood only for essential journeys, and bars and restaurants cannot serve after 10 p.m. The maximum number of people allowed to meet in any setting is capped at six.

October 5

France – Paris has closed its pubs, restaurants and cafes due to a resurgence of cases – the second city after Marseille.

October 7

Italy – Prime Minister Conte imposes the use of protective masks outdoors.

October 6

Germany – The Berlin Senate imposes a half curfew in Berlin, where the sale or service of alcoholic beverages between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. is prohibited. Private parties are limited to 10 people.

October 10

France – President Macron announces that from October 14, the curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be imposed in areas that have become hot spots for viruses, for a period of 4 weeks. Financial aid measures and the leave scheme for the companies concerned will be reintroduced.

12 october

UK – Boris Johnson is unveiling a new three-tiered Covid system for England as a number of areas in northern England are expected to join the Liverpool City region under the highest level of restrictions.

October 13

Italy – The Italian government has reintroduced stricter rules. Demonstrations and gatherings of people are strictly prohibited, while regions have the power to tighten up, not loosen measures.

October 15

UK – The boroughs of London, Essex and various other regions are upgraded to level two.

October 16

UK – Lancashire moves up to the highest level, with Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire upgraded the following week.

In North Ireland, a circuit breaker lockout began and was scheduled for four weeks. The rules prohibited mixing between bubbles over 10 from two households and overnight stays in other people’s homes. Pubs and restaurants were to close unless they offer a take-out service, but places of worship, shops and gymnasiums can remain open.

October 18

Italy – The government is announcing that mayors will gain the power to close public spaces after 9 p.m. and that restaurant opening hours and the size of authorized groups will tighten. Bars and restaurants will close at midnight and after 6 p.m. only table service will be allowed.

The maximum number of people to meet will be six, and gyms and swimming pools will have to adapt to the new protocols within seven days.

October 20

Germany – Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, will be under lockdown from 2 p.m. following a spike in cases. Berlin is making masks mandatory in some places outside due to a surge in infections.

Sweden – Uppsala becomes the first place in Sweden to announce more severe localized measures following an increase in cases. Residents are told to avoid public transportation and not to socialize with people they don’t live with for a period of two weeks.

22 October

France – French Prime Minister Jean Castex is extending the nighttime curfew to 38 other departments as cases have increased, confining 46 million of the country’s 67 million people to their homes from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

23 october

UK – Wales begins a two-week “firewall” lockdown designed to contain the last peak of cases. Stores are not to sell non-essential items and everyone is required to stay home except for limited purposes such as exercise, and should work from home whenever possible.

25 october

Spain – The government declares a national state of emergency and imposes a nighttime curfew in an effort to help control a new spike in infections.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the curfew would be in effect between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Under these measures, local authorities can also prohibit travel between regions. The new measures also limit public and private gatherings of different households to a maximum of six people.

October 26

Italy – New restrictions, which will be in place for a month, order all bars and restaurants across the country to close at 6 p.m., although they can provide take-out later. Gyms, swimming pools, theaters and cinemas must close but museums can remain open.

Masks should be worn indoors and outdoors, unless a person is in their home.

October 27

UK – Warrington moves to level three.

Sweden – Residents of Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, face new restrictions and must avoid public transport, shopping malls, museums, libraries, swimming pools and gymnasiums.

October 28

France – Macron announces that France will begin a second national lockdown from October 30 which will last at least until December 1. Non-essential businesses such as pubs and restaurants will close, but schools and factories will remain open.

Germany – Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers of Germany’s Federal States announce a new semi-lockout which will begin on November 2 and last until the end of the month or until further notice. It includes closures of cinemas, theaters, gymnasiums, swimming pools and saunas, as well as restaurants and bars, except for take-out.

Pubs and restaurants must close again, while sporting and entertainment events with the public are banned. Overnight stays in hotels, unless there is a valid reason.

But schools, kindergartens and retail businesses are supposed to stay open.

29 october

UK – Nicola Sturgeon announces five-level restriction system Scotland. While level zero is near normal life, level four is near full lockdown.

The restrictions go into effect on November 2 and are reviewed weekly, with the first review taking place on November 10 and coming into effect on Friday November 13.

Most areas are entered at level 3, which means pubs and restaurants close at 6 p.m., with a total ban on serving alcohol. Gyms will also be forced to close, while people will be encouraged to work from home when possible.

October 30

UK – Nottingham and the parts of Nottinghamshire are placed below level three.


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