After more than a year from the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when it was expected to be able to return to life without too many restrictions, Europe is back to lockdowns. The only countertrend is the United Kingdom, which from 12 April will gradually resume a progressive opening of all activities, thanks to the perfect functioning of the vaccine machine and a hard three-month lockdown. On the other hand, there is no respite for the other European states, which are confirmed in the red zone, continuing to make citizens live in the nightmare of the increasingly stringent anti-Covi-19 bans. From the Easter period, we are preparing for a list of new limitations and closures.
Germany extended the security measures to contain the virus currently in force until April 18 but canceled the Easter super lockdown with an apology from Chancellor Angela Merkel. This is the fifth renewal of the restrictions since last December 16. Also, this time the obligation of surgical masks or FFp2 was introduced in shops and on public transport. The schools remain the responsibility of the Laender. From February 22, students up to 11-12 years old returned to class with teaching every other week or only a few hours a day. For the other students, distance learning continues.
Almost a third of the French population in and around Paris has entered a new one-month lockdown since March 20. Three other French regions, including the city of Lyon, have entered it since yesterday, again for four weeks. Non-essential businesses are closed, except hairdressers. You can do outdoor sports within 10 km from home but you cannot travel within the country without a valid reason. The schools are still open. The national curfew remains in effect from 7 pm to 6 am.
Spain has also extended the curfew from 11 pm to 6 am until May. During the rest of the day, you can only go out to work, to school, to buy medicine, or to take care of the elderly and children. Anyone over the age of six is required to wear a mask on public transport and closed spaces. In some regions even outdoors.
Italy remains divided into red and orange areas. The increase in infections in recent weeks has led to a new lockdown close to the Easter holidays. To discourage those who were thinking of leaving, the government announced a 5-day isolation and a negative COVID-19 test will be required upon departure and arrival at the airport.
Belgium extended the lockdown until April 1 and banned all non-essential travel. Only one person can be received at home, always the same, and the limit of four remains outdoors. The shops are open but you can enter alone and for up to 30 minutes. In the Netherlands, the lockdown has been extended until April 20. The curfew has also been extended, but from 31 March it will begin an hour later, from 10 pm to 4.30 am. The government has asked citizens not to book holidays abroad until at least mid-May. Secondary school pupils can go to school one day a week and from 26 April also university students will be able to attend at least one day. Bars and restaurants remain closed, along with non-essential shops. Gatherings of more than two people are prohibited. The Europeans are therefore preparing for an Easter at home.