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Christmas not like others: What restrictions countries introduce on the eve of winter holidays

Author : 112.ua News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Christmas and New Year in 2020 will not be the same again. Countries were forced to take unpopular measures and impose restrictions
18:14, 22 December 2020

 AFP 

Christmas and New Year in 2020 will not be the same again. Countries were forced to take unpopular measures and impose restrictions. They are different in each country, but most still allowed families to gather at home for Christmas.

Germany has banned fireworks, Spain has imposed a curfew, and the UK is advised to create a "Christmas circle" of friends and family and not contact other people. European countries even managed to quarrel over the opening or closing of ski resorts for the holidays.

Related: Ukrainians return for holiday: Passenger traffic increases twice

Italy

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Italians "to prepare for a sober Christmas, without Christmas Eve gathering, hugs,

and kisses."

 AFP 

In the country, many regions are on a partial lockdown. But for the holidays, the lockdown will be tightened as follows:

  • a ban on moving between regions from December 21 to January 6;
  • will be banned from leaving their cities for Christmas, Boxing day (December 26, next after Catholic Christmas), and New Year. Exceptions are work, going to the pharmacy or hospital,
  • emergencies;
  • curfew from 22:00 to 05:00;
  • churches may remain open, but the traditional midnight mass is unlikely to take place;
  • Christmas markets are prohibited.

The country has also closed ski resorts in the Alps.

Related: Anti-Covid-19 vaccine should be effective against new virus strain, - WHO

Spain

In Spain, from December 23 to January 6, travel between regions of the country was prohibited, with the exception of visiting relatives or close friends.

 AFP 

Also, the government has agreed with the regional authorities for permission to gather a maximum of 10 people per family during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Now in Spain, lockdown provides for a ban on gathering in groups of more than 6 people.

December 24 and 31 – Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve – curfews will be rescheduled until 1:30 am (currently varies in each region from 10 pm to midnight).

The government advises local authorities to avoid organizing mass events. Meetings before Christmas are recommended outdoors or on restaurant terraces.

The government recommends against holding the traditional Three Kings Day parade on the evening of January 5th.

Related: Covid-19 finally gets to Antarctica

France

At the end of November, France tightened lockdown for the second time to reduce the number of infected. People are only allowed to leave their homes for good reason, and restaurants, non-grocery stores, and cultural venues have closed. Most of the quarantine measures will be in effect until December 15.

 AFP 

The quarantine will be weakened by Christmas. Shops, theaters, and cinemas will open and people will be able to visit their families during the holiday season. It will be possible to travel without permission, including between regions.

Also, from December 15, a curfew was introduced from 21:00 to 07:00. It will be canceled on an exceptional basis on December 24 and 31.

The next stage, which the government has foreseen, is that restaurants and schools may open from January 20. For this, the daily number of cases must fall below 5,000. Bars, cafes and nightclubs are closed indefinitely.

Religious services have been held since November 28 with a limit of 30 people.

France, following Italy, has also closed popular ski resorts; they may open in January under favorable conditions.

Before the holidays, additional specific recommendations will be voiced to reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus.

Related: Ukraine to modify PCR tests due to new Covid-19 strain, - official

Germany

A lockdown is currently in effect in Germany, it will last until January 10. Bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues are closed, but schools and shops are open.

 AFP 

On the eve of the holidays, the restrictions were tightened, on December 1, the restriction on meetings was reduced to two households and a maximum of five people. Most of the major Christmas markets in Germany have been canceled. Also, fireworks and fireworks were banned on New Year's. This also includes the "ski lockdown."

On Christmas Day from December 23 to January 1, the quarantine will be temporarily relaxed. Can meet up to 10 people.

Separately, the federal state of Bavaria will declare an emergency regime until January 5 due to the pandemic. But here they also plan to relax from 23 to 26 December and groups of people will be allowed to gather during the holidays.

A group of no more than five people (not including children) is now allowed to gather. A ban is imposed on going outside without good reason - work, clinic visits, training, shopping, or family matters. In areas where the situation is most difficult, a curfew will apply.

Related: Ukraine already faces new Covid-19 strain, - infectious disease specialist

Austria

Austria has eased its quarantine since December 7. This means that hairdressers and beauty salons reopened, and retail stores were also allowed. Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools have opened, but senior classes study remotely.

 AFP 

Austria opposed the closure of ski resorts, which caused outrage by the governments of Germany, Italy and France, which imposed restrictions. Attempts to keep resorts open are attributed to high profits last year - winter tourism brought in 14.9 billion euros to the budget. About 7 million German skiers come to Austria every year for skiing holidays.

As a result, the country's government has come to a compromise – resorts will only be able to open from December 24, but hotels and restaurants across the country should remain closed until January 6.

Those arriving from the "risk zones" will have to go to a ten-day quarantine.

Related: New Covid-19 stain already observed in more than five countries

UK

In the UK, stricter restrictions with heavy fines came into force on December 2, they were planned to be slightly weakened from December 23 to December 27, but a new strain of Covid-19 appeared.

PA Images

During the New Year celebrations, quarantine is not planned to be mitigated.

Related: Pfizer vaccine to be effective against new Covid-19 strain, - German’s Health Ministry

Portugal

The Portuguese authorities will limit the celebration of the New Year amid the Covid-19 epidemic. There will be a curfew during the New Year and Christmas holidays.

Earlier, Prime Minister Antonio Costa promised that on New Year's Eve, those who celebrate will be able to return home until two in the morning. However, the situation with the pandemic forced the government to change its mind.

“The number of cases per week is decreasing, but not as quickly as before,” said Antonio Costa.

As a result, people will not be allowed to leave their homes between 1:00 pm and 5:00 am from January 1st to 3rd. There is no limit on the number of people who can get together for the holidays.

Netherlands

According to the BBC, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced a nationwide hard lockdown for a period of five weeks, which will last from December 15 to January 19.

All non-essential shops, cinemas, hairdressers, gyms and schools are closing.

Citizens are advised to refrain from traveling abroad until mid-March.

Related: Covid-19: Bed-occupancy of Ukrainian hospitals at 41%

During the Christmas period, some indulgences will be made: it will be possible to receive not two, but three guests, not counting children under 13 years old.

Turkey

Turkish hotels have banned entertainment programs on New Year's Eve. We are talking about balls, entertainment programs with presenters and musicians, parties, shows and gala dinners.

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