Third wave of coronavirus: EU countries introduce new restrictions. Photo: pixabay
The rapid increase in the number of patients with coronavirus in European countries indicates the third wave of COVID-19. Also, EU countries continue mass vaccination against coronavirus.
Germany introduces new lockdown
The German authorities have decided to continue the quarantine until April 18. In addition, tighter restrictions will apply during Easter holidays.
During the Easter holidays between April 1st and April 5th, all private gatherings are limited to two households of up to five people. Supermarkets remain closed and will only open on Saturday before Easter.
In general, bars and restaurants will be closed until April 18, and secondary schools and stores will close in areas where more than 100 new infections per 100,000 people are detected within seven days.
In addition, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel has stressed that Europe is in the third wave of coronavirus. She has also noted that mass vaccination is necessary to defeat the coronavirus.
That is why it is necessary to find an equitable solution for the vaccines distribution. She has also noted that it is important not to disrupt international supply chains. However, first of all, the EU countries will provide vaccines, first of all, to their own citizens.
However, Merkel has stressed the importance of strengthening the COVAX mechanism.
Curfew in France
Due to the increase in the number of patients with coronavirus, the French government has decided to leave the curfew from 7 pm to 6 am, and bars, cafes, theaters, restaurants, cinemas, and tourist sites are closed.
Face masks are still a must for indoor and outdoor public places in most major cities, towns, and places that are frequently visited.
The government hopes regional quarantines will be enough to ease the burden on hospitals in the hardest-hit regions while vaccination in France is gaining momentum.
Italy has divided the country into zones
The Italian authorities have divided the country into zones of epidemic danger. About half of the country is in the orange zone and the rest is in the red.
Travel is strictly limited under the new rules: in orange zones, people are not allowed to leave their own cities unnecessarily, while in red zones you must stay in your own home, except for the bare essentials.
All bars and restaurants are closed, except for take-out and delivery services, as well as museums, galleries, cinemas, theaters and other cultural sites.
Schools are mainly working in the orange zones, but fully distance education has been introduced in the red zone. The government states that the restrictions will be in effect until at least Easter.
Norway has imposed restrictions on Easter
In Norway, there are restrictions at both local and national level. For example, Oslo and Viken County recently have come under tighter quarantine restrictions than the rest of the country.
The country has announced new national restrictions that will be in effect over the coming Easter holidays. In particular, it is about the limitation of up to two guests in private homes and a national ban on businesses that sell alcohol.
They also include a ban on indoor sports and entertainments for adults, and social distancing guidelines have been expanded to two meters.
Austria has extended lockdown till Easter
Austria has also decided to extend the coronavirus lockdown till Easter, canceling the relaxation plan for certain measures until March 27.
Strict measures are now being applied to the entire country, except for the western state of Vorarlberg, including curfews, the closure of bars, restaurants, and entertainment establishments.
Hairdressing and beauty services may open in Austria, but people must present a test negative for coronavirus made less than in 48 hours.
Schools are open for full time classes in Austria, but they may be closed in regions or municipalities experiencing a surge in infections or virus mutations.
The nationwide restrictive measures will be in effect until Easter, And after that a regional approach will be applied.
Switzerland has extended quarantine
Switzerland has decided to extend most of the measures to fight the third wave of coronavirus. Swiss authorities have promised that several measures will be relaxed from Monday, March 22nd, but Minister of Health of Switzerland Alain Berset said the restrictions would last until April 14th.
However, the government has decided to relax the restrictions on the number of people who can meet in the premises. It has been increased to ten.
In addition to the requirement to wear masks in all enclosed public premises, restrictions include the closure of restaurants, bars and cafes, excluding take-away and food delivery services.
Swiss workers are also required to work from home where possible. Schools in Switzerland have remained open since the summer, despite calls for their closure during an outbreak of infections in autumn.
Denmark relaxes quarantine
Unlike other EU countries, Denmark is in the process of easing restrictions and has just announced a plan to abolish many of the rules currently in force over the next two months.
Stores reopened this month, with the exception of large stores, working under appointments, as well as shopping malls and department stores.
Cinemas, theaters, bars, and restaurants remain closed, and public gatherings are now limited to ten people outdoors or 50 for organized sporting events.
The recovery plan calls for the gradual removal of most restrictions at two-week intervals, provided the number of diseases is under control and vaccines are delivered as expected. The use of vaccination passports is also a part of this plan.
The government says it plans to lift most of the restrictions when all people over the age of 50 are vaccinated against the virus.
Spain relaxes quarantine
In Spain, where restrictions due to coronavirus are mainly adopted on a regional basis, it has been recently recorded a decrease in the number of patients, and that has allowed the authorities, on the contrary, to ease restrictions.
Lighter measures include allowing travel between municipalities/provinces. However, people in Spain will have to spend Easter at home or nearby, as all regional borders remain closed for the holiday period.
On the other hand, international tourists from the EU will be allowed to visit Spain during Holy Week if they present a negative coronavirus test in advance and complete a medical form. They will also have to observe the restrictions in force in the part of Spain where they are staying.
Moldova is ready to use the Russian vaccine
Against the background of the rapid spread of coronavirus in the country, President of Moldova Maia Sandu discussed with Russian Ambassador Oleg Vasnetsov the possibility of gaining access to the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.
According to her, the priority task is to provide citizens of the countries with effective vaccines of all types. There are currently three coronavirus vaccines registered in the country: Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Sputnik V.
Also Moldova does not exclude that it will buy the Russian vaccine for free vaccination as soon as it is approved by the WHO.