Coronavirus in Europe: states change restrictions depending on the epidemiological situation

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Authorities in Scotland, Austria, Bulgaria and Greece have announced new restrictions due to the increasing number of infections in their territories. On the other hand, cases of coronavirus that are still active in Ireland and Sweden will be phased out. In Portugal, the mask will no longer be worn outdoors from Sunday.

Removal of restrictions in Sweden

By the end of September, restrictions on meetings, restrictions on catering establishments and recommendations to work remotely in Sweden will cease, despite the growing number of infections. The reasons for this decision are the large number of people vaccinated and the low burden on health services.

The Swedish authorities have also announced work to introduce a certificate for vaccinated people, which will be needed to organize events for more than 15.000 people.

Safety regulations in Austria

From 15 September, Austria will return to the obligation to use FFP2 masks, including in grocery stores, pharmacies and public transport. Unvaccinated people will need to wear FFP2 masks in all stores.

If the intensive care unit has an occupancy rate of more than 15%, the 2G rule will be introduced, which means that only vaccinated people who have recovered from the disease will be able to stay in restaurants and participate in large events. (over 500 people). After reaching the 20% level of intensive care sites, antigen tests will NO longer be recognized and only PCR tests will be considered in cinemas or restaurants.

The vaccination certificate is mandatory in Scotland

To stop the outbreak of new infections, vaccination certificates will be introduced in Scotland by the end of September. These will be a condition for entry into nightclubs and other adult entertainment venues, as well as for all indoor live events, with a capacity of up to 500 spectators, for all live outdoor events without seats where the number of spectators exceed 4.000 and all events of any level.

Lifting restrictions in Ireland

On the other hand, in Ireland, almost all restrictions will be removed by 22 October. The condition is that the number of infections remains at a controlled level and that the percentage of vaccinated people reaches 90%. According to the program presented, from September 6, the mass events with the participation of the public will be resumed.

If all participants are vaccinated or have recovered from the disease, the premises will be able to be used at a maximum capacity of 75% outdoors and 60% indoors. Restrictions on events involving unvaccinated people will remain, as will restrictions on 100 people at weddings, but live music and dancing will be allowed. In turn, places of worship can be used at 50% capacity, regardless of whether people are vaccinated or not.

More drastic restrictions in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Ministry of Health has announced the tightening of restrictions due to the increase in the number of infections and deaths caused by COVID-19. Between September 7 and October 30, the operation of the gastronomic units will be reduced, which will be open from 7 to 22. Restaurants, gyms, cinemas, theaters, museums, etc. they can only operate at a capacity of 50%.

In restaurants, the distance between meals should be at least 1.5 m. Nightclubs and discos will be closed. Scientific seminars and group excursions, including training centers and similar facilities for children, are prohibited. There will be one-way traffic in bazaars and shopping malls. The sporting events will take place at a capacity not exceeding 30%.

Restrictions for people who have not been vaccinated in Greece

From September 13, the Greek government will impose new restrictions on people unvaccinated. By March 31 next year, all public and private sector employees who do not have a vaccination or recovery certificate issued in the last six months will be required to take a weekly SARS-CoV-2 test.

Two tests per week will be needed for university staff, the tourism, food and entertainment sectors. This group will also include schoolchildren and students. The tests must be performed by private institutions, at a fee of 10 euros each, which is paid by the subject of the test. Students will be excluded from this rule - in their case, the cost will be paid by the state.

The vaccination certificate is no longer required in restaurants in some areas of France

In some parts of France, the requirement to show COVID-19 passports in shopping malls has been abolished.
In recent days, administrative courts in several French departments have suspended the obligation to show - in shopping malls - health passports confirming vaccination against COVID-19, a negative test for coronavirus or obtaining immunity after disease: Hauts-de-Seine, Yvelines , Val-d'Oise and Essonne.

3G principle in Germany

In Germany, there is the so-called 3G rule (Geimpfte, Genesene, Getestete). This means that anyone in public must be vaccinated, recovered from a COVID-19 infection or have a negative test. This also applies to outings to restaurants, cinemas, hairdressers, gyms and swimming pools, visits to hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes.

Also, those staying in hotels must provide a negative test result, which must be repeated every three days during their stay. Authorities may suspend these rules if the 7-day incidence in the federal state remains below 35 new infections per 100.000 population per week.

This week, the Federal Ministers of Health agreed that in the event of a coronavirus infection at school, only people close to those infected will be quarantined for - at least - five days. Quarantine will not apply to vaccinated people and those who have been infected in the last six months.

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