Which measures have been implemented by European Countries to tackle Covid-19 ?


The World Health Organization (WHO), has urged all countries to maintain efforts in the fight against the pandemic, as cases worldwide have already exceeded the 30 million mark. For the WHO, the situation of the pandemic in the European continent is “alarming,” and today it exceeded seven million cases, with figures of daily infections (about 50,000) higher than those registered in March and April, at the peak of the coronavirus in Europe. Russia has been the worst affected country in Europe with 1,447,335 confirmed cases, followed by Spain with 1,046,641 cases. France and the United Kingdom have approximately 957 thousand and 789 thousand cases respectively. 

The United Kingdom is the European country with more covid-19 deaths at 44,158 deceased, their case number remains 790,000. In every city, masks are mandatory in public transport, commerce, and hotels. The government has recommended the citizens to telecommute, if possible, and there should be no more than six people in social gatherings. 

During the last week, the number of cases in Italy has increased as new cases top 15,000. All discos and entertainment centers have been closed to prevent public gatherings. The Italian Government will approve a decree to make the use of the mask mandatory outdoors when there are other people, except at sports events. 

In France, the government imposed a new measure, limiting the social movement of people outdoors from 9pm to 6am, including the closing of bars and restaurants. The French cabinet has approved a draft law extending France’s state of health emergency,  which was to expire next month, until February 2021. Nonetheless, it has been clarified that there will be no traffic ban and the public transport service will operate normally, travel between regions is also allowed. Some 20 million French people have already been ordered to stay home every night under a curfew in the most affected metropoli: Paris, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Saint-Étienne and Toulouse. 

The country is deploying 12,000 extra police officers to enforce the new rules. Restaurants and bars can serve with a maximum of six people per table and a minimum separation of one meter from others.  The mask is mandatory in closed public areas for every city and there are also restrictions in shops: one person for every four square meters. Likewise, meetings are limited to 10 people and student parties and wedding celebrations in rented premises are prohibited.

In Belgium, new measures have been implemented as the Prime Minister has announced that the rise in cases has been alarming and worrying. In its capital city, Brussels, bars, cafes, and nightclubs are closed until November 8. In the rest of the country, bars and restaurants close at eleven at night. In the rest of the country, bars and restaurants close at eleven at night. Additionally, sporting events must be held without an audience and places of worship can accommodate a maximum of 100 people. Private meetings will be limited to a maximum of four people, and each person may have close contact with a maximum of three outside the home; for now, until October 30.

In Portugal, the state of contingency remains as the government has decided to extend the restrictions during this month due to the risk of a second wave of infections. The use of face masks is mandatory, commercial establishments have to close before eleven at night, and meetings are limited to a maximum of 10 people. 

Similarly, in Germany private parties in closed places may not exceed ten people. And between eleven at night and six in the morning, there can be no groups of more than five people since bars and restaurants have to close at eleven. There has been an upturn in cases concentrated in Berlin which has led the government to declare that all travelers from high-risk countries must be quarantined for 14 days. Additionally, people who do not wear a mask on public transport must pay a minimum fine of 50 euros. Those who do not leave correct identity information in restaurants and bars are also fined.

Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to reopen schools last April. The number of infections began to increase in late August. Masks remain mandatory in public transport, restaurants, and bars. In and around Copenhagen, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs must close at 10 pm. Private parties and weddings must end at the same time. 

In Sweden, unlike the rest of European countries, confinement was not imposed at the worst moments of the pandemic. There, the number of new infections is increasing again, but not as dramatically as in other parts of Europe. The authorities have not ruled out new restrictions, but masks are not recommended at the moment. 

In the Czech Republic, the accumulated rate of positives in the past two weeks is 327 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the EU, according to reports of the EFE. The country has been in a state of emergency since September 30th and as well as the other countries mentioned before the use of masks is mandatory. 

On the other hand, Spain is the second European country, after Russia, that has exceeded more than 1,000,000 positives as reported by the Ministry of Health, this Wednesday. Regarding the number of deaths, the department of Salvador Illa has added 156 deaths to its records, bringing the accumulated number to 34,366. Likewise, it has recorded the third-highest rate of cases in Europe at 1,995 cases per 100,000. As a result, the government and autonomous communities continue to seek measures to prevent coronavirus infections from continuing to increase, including the curfew in a new state of alarm. 

The president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, announced that on Friday she will detail the restrictions that will come into force in the region when the state of alarm ends next Saturday afternoon. Other cities, such as Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel, and the community of La Rioja, have announced that they will restrict access and exits. A 4 phase ranking by the Spanish government has each autonomous community at either medium-risk or above, with Castilla y Leon and Madrid at extreme risk. This could entail further lockdown measures in the near future.

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