Lifting of restrictions: where is France compared to its European neighbors?


FOCUS- While France is lifting part of its restrictions on Wednesday, some European countries have already taken the lead. Le Figaro make the point.

Could this finally be the end of the tunnel? In accordance with the timetable announced by the government on January 20, France has lifted some of its restrictions. From Wednesday February 2, the gauges in establishments welcoming the public – performance halls, stadiums… – are lifted, teleworking is no longer required in companies – even if it remains recommended – and wearing a mask is no longer recommended. required outdoors.

In a few days, on February 16, other measures will also be abolished: nightclubs will again be able to welcome the public, after more than two months of closure, concerts and drinks “upright» in bars will be possible again and consumption in stadiums, cinemas and transport will be authorized. But where does France stand in relation to its neighbors in its timetable for lifting restrictions? Some seem to have already taken a certain lead. Le Figaro make the point.

No more restrictions in England

Since Thursday January 27, England has left behind almost all of the last restrictions in force to fight against Covid-19. After ending the recommendation to work from home for those who can, England is now abandoning other restrictions – among the lightest in Europe – introduced in December in the face of the surge in Omicron cases: compulsory wearing of mask indoors in public places and the vaccination passport for events with a large audience.

Opposed to the lifting of the obligation to wear a mask in public transport, the mayor of London Sadiq Khan however announced to maintain this measure in the capital.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: Faced with the lifting of certain restrictions, Londoners “relieved” but cautious

Denmark is also trying to return “to life before”

Despite the omnipresence of Omicron, Denmark has also decided to leave the restrictions behind and take the gamble of returning “to life beforesince February 1. After a first attempt of two months between September and November, masks, sanitary passes and reduced openings of bars and restaurants have again become ancient history in the Nordic kingdom.

Nightclubs also reopened on Tuesday, and the gauges disappeared. Very few restrictions remain in place on entry into the country, only for unvaccinated travelers arriving from a country outside the Schengen area. It remains “recommendedto isolate themselves for four days in the event of a positive test, according to the National Health Agency, but contact cases are no longer forced into any quarantine. Wearing a mask and the health pass are also recommended for hospital visits.

In Spain, Catalonia abolishes the health pass

The Spanish region of Catalonia has decided to end, from Friday January 28, the obligation to present a health pass to enter bars, restaurants and sports halls, considering it ineffective in the face of the great contagiousness of Omicron.

If the number of cases is still very high in the region, hospitals are not as saturated as the authorities might have feared in their most pessimistic scenarios. The region therefore lifted most of its restrictions, also ending occupancy gauges at restaurants and scrapping the ten-person limit for private gatherings.

Overall, Spain intends soon “living with the virus“, by treating Covid-19 as a disease”endemic“. Concretely, the country could, in the near future, also draw a line under health measures. But she hasn’t given a deadline yet.

The Netherlands relaxes particularly harsh measures

Since January 26, the Netherlands has relaxed some of its restrictions, which are among the most restrictive in Europe. The executive took the decision to lift the “confinement“, set up just before Christmas. Cafes, bars and restaurants were able to reopen until 10 p.m. (2100 GMT), at reduced capacity. Customers must present a health pass, and wear a mask when not seated.

Cinemas, theaters and museums were also able to reopen. Nightclubs remain closed. Events are possible again, bringing together a maximum of 1250 people inside. Shops and hairdressers had already been allowed to reopen on January 15, while bars, restaurants, museums and theaters had to remain closed, angering part of the population.

SEE ALSO – Sanitary measures: Should we follow the example of the Netherlands?

No lifting of restrictions in sight for Germany

Unlike many of its neighbours, Germany does not foresee any lifting of restrictions in the short term. Faced with the Omicron variant, it has even restricted access to restaurants and cafes since mid-January. Customers in restaurants, cafes and bars must now, in addition to a vaccination or recovery certificate, present a negative screening test of the day. But people who have already received a third dose of serum are exempt from testing.

Germany has even gone further, putting on the table a controversial compulsory vaccination project, defended by the new Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz. It began to be debated on January 26 in the Bundestag.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: How Germany is coping

Italy only lifts some restrictions for EU travelers

Since February 1, Italy has eased anti-Covid restrictions for travelers from European Union countries, requiring proof of vaccination, recent recovery or negative test but no longer the obligation of quarantine. The vaccination pass will be sufficient, from next month, for travelers from other EU countries.

This document, dubbed in Italy “reinforced sanitary pass“, can only be obtained with a complete vaccination cycle or after recovery from Covid. The Italian government, faced with a rebound in contagions due to the Omicron variant, decided at the end of December to require it from January 10 in transport, hotels, restaurant terraces, fairs and congresses as well as swimming pools and halls. of gym.

Belgium and its “corona barometer”

Since January 21, Belgium has had a new tool, called “corona barometer“, which will make it possible to evolve anti-Covid measures for culture and cafés-restaurants according to the more or less strong pressure of the pandemic on the hospital system.

The “barometer“, which is associated with a color code, came into force on January 28. Its color is currently at “red”, with a high level of restrictions as daily hospital admissions are currently over 150, in the midst of the wave of the Omicron variant. Ultimately, the reduction in this hospital load (in conventional beds and in intensive care units) could lead to an easing (color “orange”), or even a total lifting of restrictions (“yellow”).

The Belgian authorities have also announced a slight relaxation of health restrictions and that a booster vaccination would be necessary for adults after five months to access bars and cinemas. The Belgian government has also extended the closing time of bars to midnight instead of 11 p.m. and authorized the reopening of closed places, such as bowling alleys.

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