Lockdown Restrictions Claw Back across Europe
Countries across Europe have imposed strict lockdown restrictions in recent weeks in a bid to stop the spread of Omicron.
The Netherlands is the latest country on the continent to impose a national lockdown which will come into force from Sunday. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the measures were "unavoidable" in an announcement earlier today.
Under the rules, schools, universities, and all non-essential stores, bars and restaurants in the Netherlands will be closed from December 19 until January 14. Residents only will be permitted two visitors except for Christmas and New Year's, when four will be allowed.
Before the Dutch announcement, alarmed ministers in France, Cyprus and Austria tightened travel restrictions. The French government imposed a ban on all UK tourists traveling to the country from Friday whether vaccinated or not. Those entering the country for 'an essential reason' will have to quarantine on arrival. Paris also canceled its New Year's Eve fireworks amid a rise in cases of the Omicron variant.
Denmark closed theaters, concert halls, amusement parks and museums. Ireland imposed an 8pm curfew on pubs and bars and limited attendance at indoor and outdoor events.
The World Health Organization reported on Saturday that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in 89 countries, and Covid-19 cases involving the variant are doubling every 1.5 to 3 days in places with community transmission and not just infections acquired abroad.
Source: Liverpool Echo