Four other countries in Europe weaken quarantine before Christmas

Italy, Ireland, Belgium, and Germany are introducing some relaxation of quarantine measures during the Christmas holidays.

Several EU countries have decided to relax their quarantine measures for the Christmas period. For example, on Friday, November 27, the Italian government announced that from November 29, three “red zones”, particularly affected by the spread of coronavirus — Lombardy, Piedmont, and Calabria — will be reclassified as “orange”, which corresponds to a lower level of epidemiological danger. The relaxation of quarantine measures was also reported by Belgium, Ireland, and Germany.

In Italy, residents of Lombardy, Piedmont, and Calabria will again be able to move freely around their municipality from 5:00 to 22:00. In addition, they will be allowed to travel within the area to get to work, see a doctor, or take their children to school. Shopping centers will be allowed to resume their work, but bars, restaurants, and bakeries will remain closed.

The “red zones” will remain the Valle d’Aosta region, the city of Bolzano in the Trentino Alto Adige region, and the provinces of Tuscany, Abruzzi, and Campania. In these regions, people are allowed to leave their homes only under certain conditions.

Quarantine easing in Ireland and Belgium

The Irish government also decided to ease restrictions for a number of institutions and businesses during the Christmas holidays. Thus, subject to the rules of hygiene and social distance from December 1 is allowed to open stores, museums, art galleries, and libraries. And from December 4 restaurants and bars that offer not only drinks but also food can be opened again.

Speaking on television, Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said that the relaxation of quarantine measures will be introduced to such an extent that “will allow a balance between the interests of health and economy and social aspects.

The Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo also promised to open stores during the Christmas holidays. “The situation (with the Coronavirus pandemic) in our country is improving,” he said, speaking on TV. — Nevertheless, it is important to continue this course”. Specifically, it means maintaining a partial lockdown regime in Belgium.

Quarantine measures in Germany

Some weakening of quarantine measures for the period of Christmas and New Year holidays, from December 23 to January 1, was also reported in Germany. As a result of the meeting of Chancellor Angela Merkel with the heads of federal land governments, it was decided, in particular, to allow groups of up to 10 adults from two households to meet at this time. For comparison, at the moment only five adults from two families can meet.

However, most of the restrictions that have been in force in Germany since November 2 remain in force. The country is still closed restaurants, bars, theaters, movies, gyms, sports sections, brothels, massage parlors, and most other leisure and service businesses.

Some precautions have even been strengthened. Thus, protective masks are henceforth prescribed to be worn not only in public transport, stores, and shopping streets but practically in all public closed premises, in central districts of cities, and in schools starting from the 7th grade.

According to Merkel, residents of Germany should tune in to the fact that partial lockdown will be canceled no sooner than mid-January, at least on a larger territory of the country.

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