Factbox: COVID-19 restrictions across Europe
(Reuters) – Britain, whose economy has been among the hardest hit in Europe by the COVID-19 pandemic, is due on Monday to announce a phased roadmap out of its lockdown, aided by one of the world’s fastest vaccine rollouts.
The announcement in parliament at 1530 GMT is expected to confirm the re-opening of schools from March 8 but stipulate a more gradual easing of other restrictions, notably for retailers and hospitality venues.
The following is a snapshot of restrictions in place in Europe’s other leading economies:
GERMANY – Non-essential stores are closed until at least March 7. Restaurants can offer meals for take-out only. Museums, gyms and cinemas are closed, and hotels open only to business travellers. Schools in some federal states are partially re-opening from Feb. 22. Companies must offer staff the option to work from home where possible.
FRANCE – A nationwide curfew is in place between the hours of 1800 and 0600. Schools and shops are open but cafes, restaurants and bars are shut, along with theatres, cinemas, museums and galleries. No date has been set for re-opening. Anyone entering France must produce a negative COVID-19 test; entering France from outside the European Union is not allowed except for urgent reasons.
ITALY – The country is divided into red, orange, yellow and white zones and restrictions vary accordingly. At present, seven regions and two provinces are in the orange zone; the rest are yellow. Orange zone means bars and restaurants are closed and people cannot leave their towns of residence except for work or emergencies. Schools are closed in these regions but open, at least partly, in yellow zones. Theatres, cinemas and gyms are closed nationwide. Travel between regions is subject to limits.
SPAIN – Restrictions vary, with Madrid taking a relaxed approach and allowing customers to eat and drink inside bars and restaurants until 11 p.m. Most other regions are much stricter, but some have started to ease local travel restrictions and reopen non-essential businesses as infections decline, though curfews remain in place between 10 p.m. and midnight nationwide. Schools are open.
NETHERLANDS – Schools, non-essential stores, bars and restaurants are all shut. A curfew from 9 p.m. to 04:30 a.m. has been in place since Jan. 23 and is expected to be extended. Elementary schools and day care centres were reopened Feb. 8; hairdressers and high schools are set to follow next week. Those arriving in the Netherlands must provide two negative COVID-19 test results.
SWITZERLAND – The government has proposed allowing the first easing steps from March 1, when shops, museums and libraries can reopen pending a final green light on Wednesday. Private outdoor events with up to 15 people would also be allowed, up from the current limit of five. Schools and many ski lifts remain open, but restaurants and cultural venues closed. Additional easing may follow from April 1 if infection rates allow.
POLAND – On Feb. 12, Poland reopened ski slopes, as well as hotels, cinemas and theatres, at a maximum of 50% capacity for a two-week trial. Shopping centres are open, but restaurants are only allowed to serve food to take away and bars are closed. Children in kindergartens and the first three years of primary school attend lessons as normal; older children study remotely.
SWEDEN – Businesses and schools remain largely open, with a focus primarily on voluntary social distancing. High schools for students aged 16 and above have partly moved online while alcohol sales at bars and restaurants are banned after 8.00 pm. Public gatherings of more than eight people are largely forbidden. Various restrictions also apply for foreign nationals entering Sweden and domestic travel.
BELGIUM – Shops, hairdressers, swimming pools and schools can open, although secondary students are only at school half of the time. Beauty parlours may reopen from March 1. Cafes and restaurants are shut and non-essential foreign travel is banned until April 1. Working from home is mandatory where possible.
AUSTRIA – A lockdown was eased this month despite high infections. Shops and hairdressers are now open and schools have in-person lessons, with daily testing. A nighttime curfew is in place and there are restrictions on leaving Tyrol province because of an outbreak of the South African variant. No easing measures are planned until Easter at the earliest.
HUNGARY – An 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is in effect with few exceptions; e.g., essential to move for work, health reasons, walking dog close to home). Restaurants are closed except for takeout and delivery. No large public gatherings are allowed. Cultural venues closed, with events online only. Secondary schools and universities are closed, elementary schools open. Weekly testing is mandated for healthcare workers and teachers.
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