Restrictions are tightening in Europe in the face of a new wave of Covid fueled by infections with the Omicron strain of coronavirus.
UPDATE: In the Netherlands, non-essential shops, schools, bars, restaurants and other public places will be closed until at least mid-January. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said the restrictions are “inevitable”, according to the BBC.
These are the strictest rules announced so far regarding Omicron.
European countries have tightened restrictions as the highly mutant Omicron spreads.
The new rules in the Netherlands, which come into force on Sunday, were announced following a meeting between the government and health experts.
The initial news
The Dutch government is expected to announce a strict quarantine on Saturday night. France has imposed strict travel restrictions on those coming from the UK, where the number of Omicron cases detected has tripled in 24 hours to 10,000. In addition, Paris City Hall has canceled the traditional Champs Elysee fireworks display.
Two regions in Romania are the only “green areas” on a map of Europe “reddened” by Covid infections.
The United Kingdom is the worst affected country, with almost 10,000 new cases of Omicron detected in 24 hours. In total, counting the infections with the previous strain, delta, the daily balance, reported yesterday, exceeded 93,000. It was the third consecutive day of infection.
Since midnight, France has closed its borders to those traveling from the UK, for tourism or business. Lots of people tried to enter France before being denied access. So huge queues formed at the ferry terminals in Port Dover and the Eurostar train terminals.
Speaking hours before the new rules went into effect, Prime Minister Jean Castex said travel restrictions were part of a series of measures aimed at limiting the wave of Omicron infections. These include reducing the required interval between the second and third dose with an anti-Covid serum. Complete immunization is also a mandatory requirement for access to restaurants and long-distance public transport.
Jean Castex, Prime Minister of France: “We have decided, in particular, to turn the health permit into a vaccination permit and to tighten the conditions of control and sanctions for false vaccination permits.”
Prime Minister Castex also said that the government will announce new measures to boost vaccination.
Jean Castex: “It is unacceptable that the refusal of several million French people to get vaccinated is life-threatening throughout the country.”
On the other hand, health experts in the Netherlands support a strict lockdown. And it is expected that the Dutch government will announce – from tonight – new restrictions, so that only the essential stores remain open. Measures requiring the closure of restaurants, bars and most shops between 5 pm and 5 am were already in force in the Netherlands until at least 14 January.
Germany is also on an upward slope in the number of infections.
Karl Lauterbach, German Minister of Health: “We are expecting a fifth massive wave of the pandemic. We need to prepare for a challenge that we have never known before. “
In Ireland, too, Omicron is a cause for concern.
Michael Martin, Prime Minister of Ireland: “Omicron is spreading aggressively to all age groups and we will most likely see a number of infections at a level that will far exceed what we have seen so far. The situation is so serious! ”
Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and cinemas in Ireland have been shutting down every night since 8pm on Monday. The hospitality industry fears “devastating consequences”.
Pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas in Ireland have been shutting down every night since 8pm on Monday. The hospitality industry fears “devastating consequences”.