The UK – having imposed new restrictions on those returning from Spain, and previously introduced its first local lockdown in Leicester – is far from the only country to have had to respond to resurging coronavirus infection rates.
Meanwhile, Belgium’s prime minister on Monday unveiled a range of measures aimed at avoiding a new nationwide lockdown. Outside of family groups, gatherings will be limited to a bubble of five people, down from the current 15 people. Crowds will be limited to 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors after a surge in the number of cases in the last three weeks, particularly in the Antwerp area. In the northern region, a curfew has been announced and the wearing of masks will be mandatory when social distancing of 1.5 metres cannot be observed.
In Spain, Madrid’s regional government has made face masks compulsory in all public areas and is limiting the number of people who can gather in one area as a result of rising infection rates in the east and northeast of Spain. In Catalonia, which is one of the regions to have seen a rise in cases, all nightlife venues have been ordered to close for 15 days with a midnight curfew on bars in Barcelona and Lleida. In Navarra, another badly-hit area by the new surge, the regional government has reduced capacity in shops, places of worship and restaurants by 50%. Spain’s national government has delegated the lessening or tightening of restrictions to regional governments following the end of the national lockdown.
In Germany, there is concern that rates are rising in Germany. On Monday, Berlin announced plans for free, compulsory coronavirus tests for holidaymakers returning from 130 high-risk countries – including Turkey and the US. German authorities are advising against tourism to Catalonia, Aragon and Navarra, but the national government is yet to recategorise Spain as high risk, meaning those arriving from Spain do not have to quarantine. Bavaria said it was ready to start testing arrivals at its airports as soon as the federal government allowed it and also announced voluntary test centres at three road border crossings, as well as the main railway stations in Munich. The city of Hamburg is apparently mulling over whether to ban alcohol after a large number of people were witnessed ignoring social distancing rules at the weekend.
In France, the wearing of masks in all indoor public spaces was made mandatory in France last week following a rise in cases. French authorities have also advised their citizens against travelling to Catalonia.
In Italy, following concerns about the risk of the disease spreading, as many people flock to the country’s tourist hotspots, the island of Capri has insisted everyone must wear a mask in the street, as well as in public spaces indoors, due to overcrowding in the narrow alleyways.
Norway has employed a similar measure to the UK by insisting that anyone arriving from Spain or Portugal will have to quarantine for 10-days.