As parts of the UK enter the third Covid lockdown, how does the rest of Europe stack up? | Coronavirus


After a brief and partial loosening of the rules over Christmas and New Years, many countries in mainland Europe have reverted to the harsh anti-Covid regimes that were imposed this fall – with a few more tightening measures.

According to the latest update from the World Health Organization, in the last week of 2020, the UK had a 14-day new case notification rate of 720 per 100,000 people, more than double the that of France, Germany, Italy and Spain, but lower. than the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

France (infection rate 277.5 / 100,000) lifted its second national lockdown on December 15, with non-essential stores allowed to reopen but cafes, restaurants, gyms, cinemas and theaters remained closed. It has been replaced with a national 8:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. curfew that has been relaxed for Christmas (but not New Years). The curfew has now been brought forward two hours in 15 departments, mainly in eastern France, with schools returning for the new term as usual on Monday.

Parisians play chess at the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. Photographie: Kiran Ridley / Getty

Germany (379.1 / 100,000) has been the subject of a second lockdown since November 2. The restrictions, which started as a “lockdown light” with only restaurants, bars and entertainment venues closed and a few soft rules for social gatherings, have been stepped up as Christmas approaches. Since December 16, non-essential shops have also been closed, schools and nurseries only offer emergency care, and social gatherings are limited to one other household or to a maximum of five people over the age of 14. . The lockdown is expected to be extended until the end of January.

Netherlands (907 / 100.00) bars and restaurants closed in mid-October, followed on December 15 by non-essential shops and businesses, gyms, museums, cinemas and theaters. After a little Christmas relaxation, people are again advised to stay home and can only have a maximum of two guests per day. Homework is strongly advised and child care centers and all schools, colleges and universities are closed except for the children of primary workers until at least January 19.

An empty street in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
An empty street in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Photographie: Piroschka van de Wouw / Reuters

Sweden (815 / 100.00), whose largely voluntary approach was an outlier, last month banned bars and restaurants from serving alcohol after 8 p.m. groups limited to four-person restaurants; ordered shops and gyms to secure a maximum number of customers; put the education of over 16s online; closed non-essential utilities such as swimming pools and libraries; and masks recommended on public transport during peak hours. A new law to make it easier for the government to impose new restrictions is expected to come into force on January 10.

Poland (330.6 / 100,000) instituted a strict three-week lockdown on December 28, with the closure of non-essential stores and all arrivals from abroad to be isolated for 10 days. Public gatherings are limited to five people.

In Hungary (335.6 / 100,000), all shops remain open but the country’s borders are closed to almost all visitors, including citizens of other EU countries, and a nighttime curfew is in effect between 20 o’clock and 5 o’clock in the morning.

A normally busy street remains empty in Barcelona, ​​Spain.
A generally busy street remains empty in Barcelona, ​​Spain. Photography: Agence Anadolu / Getty

Spain (271.7 / 100,000) imposed regional restrictions, with Catalonia among the strictest: from Thursday, people are banned from leaving their municipality, gyms and shopping centers are to close, and only essential stores can stay open on weekends. Bars and restaurants can open for breakfast and lunch, but only offer take-out for dinner. Madrid, where the 14-day case rate is among the highest in the country, has rejected the closure of non-essential restaurants or stores, opting instead for light containment of neighborhoods with a higher infection rate.

Italy (337.9 / 100,000) spent much of Christmas and New Years at home, with people allowed out only for essential reasons or for brief visits to relatives. Rules will be relaxed from Thursday, when the old three-tier regional system returns. Restaurants and bars can open until 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, but must close again on weekends when the whole country is classified as “red”. A nationwide 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. curfew remains, and high schools will not reopen (at 50% capacity) until at least next week.

Additional reporting by Ashifa Kassam, Philip Oltermann, Angela Giuffrida and Shaun Walker


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