Quarantine in Europe and the USA: what is prohibited and what is allowed. Photo: pixabay
European countries have massively begun to strengthen quarantine once again due to the rapid increase in the number of patients with coronavirus. However, Germany, on the contrary, decided to gradually ease the quarantine.
Strict quarantine in Estonia
Strict quarantine measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 will beging in Estonia on March 11. The massive restrictions will last until April 11 and will only be eased after the spread of the coronavirus is subsided.
Moreover, the aggressive British strain of the coronavirus is more prevalent in Estonia than predicted, and the medical system is in crisis.
According to the decision of the Estonian government, in the country from March 11:
- up to two people can get around together, who must observe a distance of two meters with others;
- students in grades 1-4 will no longer be able to stay in schools, and contact education is also not allowed for students preparing for final exams in basic school and state exams;
- sports competitions, the work of gyms and fitness centres are prohibited;
- it is prohibited to hold public events;
- swimming pools, spas and saunas will be closed;
- only public gatherings and outdoor divine services in groups of up to 10 people are allowed;
- shops will be closed;
- catering establishments are only allowed to sell takeaway food.
The restrictions do not apply to grocery stores, pharmacies, stores that sell aids and medical supplies, telecommunications companies, opticians, pet stores, and gas stations.
It is also forbidden to eat and drink in cafes and gas stations.
Curfew in the Netherlands
The curfew in the Netherlands will continue until at least March 31, Reuters reports. However, the country will still hold parliamentary elections on March 15-17.
Also in April, restaurants and cafes may be allowed to serve customers on open terraces if the level of coronavirus infection in the country decreases in the near future.
A curfew from 21:00 to 4:30 local time was established in the country on January 23 and it was supposed to last until February 10.
This led to riots, protesters threw stones and firecrackers at the police, and burned fires in the streets. And in some cities, the police used tear gas, water cannons and batons.
Quarantine in Montenegro
President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović called on the country's government to close the borders and introduce severe restrictive measures due to the increase in the incidence of coronavirus.
He also called the situation with the coronavirus in the country dramatic and expressed the need to tighten measures. According to him, this will help maintain the stability of the health care system and give a chance for a quick revival of the economy.
Easing restrictions in US
The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that persons who are fully vaccinated can partially return to "normal" lives.
In addition, they were allowed to visit those already vaccinated and some unvaccinated citizens. The CDC believes that two weeks after a full vaccination, a person is protected from contracting coronavirus.
30 million Americans have now been fully vaccinated.
The new rules were announced at a special briefing at the White House. Therefore, people who are vaccinated can:
- be indoors without masks and maintaining social distance with other vaccinated persons;
- be in a room with unvaccinated family members, if they are not at risk (elderly people, with concomitant diseases);
- do not make tests and do not be quarantined after communicating with patients with coronavirus, unless there are obvious symptoms of the disease.
However, they continue to be advised to follow safety rules: wear a mask and maintain social distance in public places, as well as avoid crowds and travel.
Weekend quarantine in France
The number of areas in France under lockdown for the weekend is increasing due to the spread of the coronavirus. Thus, up to three regions of France that have already been subject to a weekend lockdown have joined the Pas-de-Calais.
Nice, a stretch of the French Riviera spanning 62 cities and communes, and the city of Dunkirk to the north are among regions with restrictions.
The Riviera and Dunkirk restrictions last from Friday 6:00 pm to Monday 6:00 am. In the Pas-de-Calais, restrictive events start at 8 am on Saturday.
All regions have a standard curfew from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am during the week.
Going outside is only permitted for vital reasons, including work, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and dog walking.
Leaving home for exercise on Saturday or Sunday is permitted, with restrictions.
This should be an individual exercise and should last no more than one hour a day. Also, people are allowed to travel up to 5 km from their home.
Residents of the affected areas before travelling on weekends need to indicate the reason in the TousAntiCovid app in order to prove that the trip is vital.
However, for people living in one of the 23 high alert departments, there are some additional measures:
- stores over 10,000 square meters will close;
- wearing masks will become mandatory on the street in all areas where this is not yet the case;
- local authorities will be asked to regulate or deny access to areas where large groups of people gather.
Tightening quarantine in Italy
The Italian government is considering what measures to take if health data confirms by the end of the week that new infections are still increasing as expected. The think tank GIMBE has already warned that Italy has entered the third wave.
Several leading Italian medical and scientific experts have said in recent weeks that a severe lockdown is "urgently needed", while the government's advisory committee, the Technical Scientific Committee (CTS), is urging the government to adopt tougher restrictions.
Easing quarantine in Germany
Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel announced a plan to ease restrictions on the coronavirus, including conditions for starting a business. However, the quarantine will continue until at least March 28.
According to Merkel, there is a five-step plan to ease restrictions at the regional or national level. The steps will be introduced every 14 days if the regional number of infected is stable or decreasing.
- Step one: some school classes, kindergartens and hairdressing salons reopen. This step has already taken place on Monday, March 1;
- Step two, starting March 8: The bookstores and florists can reopen with one customer per 10 square meters. Contact-based occupations such as massage practices can also open up with a negative test result;
- Step three, will begin no earlier than March 8: if the reported cases are less than 50 per 100 thousand people, then museums, zoos, and gardens will be able to reopen, as well as trade enterprises with an area of at least 10 square meters per client. Up to 10 people can practice non-contact outdoor sports;
- Step four, starting no earlier than March 22: open-air restaurants, theaters, concert venues, cinemas, and opera houses may reopen; people can practice indoor non-contact sports and outdoor contact sports.
- Step five, starting April 5: up to 50 people will be able to gather for outdoor recreational activities, and sports restrictions will be lifted. Stores can open at least 10 square meters per customer. Outdoor non-contact sports and indoor contact exercises are permitted.