Ireland and Wales will this week become the first territories in Europe to reconfine their populations in the hope of “celebrate Christmas properly”, and new screw turns are also coming into force in Belgium, Slovenia and Italy.
The restrictions are tightening day by day in Europe in an attempt to curb the pandemic which has already killed 250,000 there.
In Ireland, the entire population will be reconfigured from the night of Wednesday to Thursday, announced its Prime Minister Micheal Martin late Monday. The measure will come into force Wednesday at midnight for six weeks, he said, while stressing that the schools would remain open.
All non-essential businesses will have to close, bars and restaurants will only be able to serve take-out food.
“We ask everyone in the country to stay at home”, launched Micheal Martin, whose compatriots will be able to leave their homes to exercise only within a radius of five kilometers around their place of residence.
The Wales As of Friday, it will be subject to a two-week confinement, the hardest measure introduced in the UK since the first wave of Covid-19 in the spring.
From 6 p.m., the more than three million inhabitants of this British province will be called to “stay at home”, explained Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford, adding that the duration of this “firewall” is the shortest that can be introduced to be effective.
Non-essential businesses will have to close, leading to a situation comparable to the lockdown introduced in the United Kingdom from March 23 at the time of the first wave.
“Soaring” in Belgium
In Belgium, cafes and restaurants are now closed for four weeks and a curfew went into effect Monday from midnight to 5 a.m. to try to stem the “soaring” of the epidemic.
As of Monday, this country of 11.5 million inhabitants recorded 222,253 cases, a figure which more than doubled over a month, and 10,413 deaths, making it one of the most bereaved in Europe in proportion to its population.
In France, which deplores 146 deaths in 24 hours, large metropolises, including Paris, have been subject to a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. since this weekend. The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care exceeded 2,000 people on Monday, a threshold never reached since May.
A curfew will also come into effect from Tuesday in Slovenia : the two million inhabitants of this EU member country will not be allowed to go out between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Neighboring country,Austria on Monday strengthened its measures: gatherings should be restricted to six people inside and twelve people outside.
In Italy, new restrictions also came into effect on Monday for bars and restaurants, a ban on local parties and fairs and amateur team sports. Restaurants must display their maximum capacity, close at midnight and only accept a maximum of six people per table. Bars will close at 6:00 p.m. if they cannot serve their customers at the table.
In Spain, the city of Burgos (North) will join in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday the increasingly long list of partially cordoned off municipalities. The region of Navarre will suffer the same fate from Thursday.
In Suisse, the country in Europe where the disease has progressed the fastest last week, the mask becomes mandatory in closed public places.
In Czech republic, which has the highest rate of infection and death per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe, the government has asked the military to build a field hospital outside Prague.
A Warsaw, the national stadium, built for Euro-2012 football, will be partly transformed into a temporary hospital.