Omicron variant in Europe: closures and curfews, rules against the wave

Contagions are increasing, governments are running for cover. The measures of France, Ireland, Denmark, Germany

The Omicron variant scares Europe, countries run for cover with rules, measures and restrictions. Words like curfew and lockdown are making a comeback. Infections are spurting practically everywhere, with Great Britain daily leader with 93 thousand new cases. In London, however, we look with satisfaction at the acceleration of the vaccination campaign: 26.3 million adults have received the third dose, practically one in two over 18.

In the Old Continent the wave does not stop: the numbers are impressive, the tightness of the hospitals is worrying and the governments launch measures to stem the wave. The results of the studies and analyzes offer elements that raise the alert: Omicron can partially dribble vaccines and can reinfect the recovered.

In the Netherlands we return to talk of lockdown, as reported by RTL Nieuws: experts and scientific consultants pressing on the government to adopt strict measures, considered the only way to try to contain Omicron.

There France – which will not impose tampons on travelers from other EU countries – takes action against the variant compared to lightning by Prime Minister Jean Castex. The country’s intensive care units host about 3,000 patients and the situation seems destined to worsen. The government is working on a bill that will be presented in parliament at the beginning of January and which will serve to transform the current health pass into a vaccination certificate. “Only the vaccine will count towards the pass, not the swabs anymore,” Castex says. There are about six million French people still not vaccinated against the coronavirus and the picture risks becoming unsustainable.

Beyond the Channel, theIreland dusts off curfew. From midnight on Sunday, at 8pm closing for pubs, restaurants, clubs inside hotels. Same measure also for cultural and sporting events.

There Denmark, after the 11,194 cases in the last 24 hours (20% related to Omicron), prepares the squeeze: Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s plan provides for the closure of museums, cinemas, theaters, bio parks, amusement parks and places for events. The measures, which provide for the acceleration of the tracking programs and the vaccination campaign, will enter into force after the approval of the parliament. New rules are also emerging for restaurants: they will have to close at 11pm, but from 10pm they will no longer be able to serve alcohol. Last week the decision was announced to bring the end-of-year holidays forward for schools by one week.

There GermanyMeanwhile, he looks at the bulletins and decides to classify France and Denmark as high-risk areas starting Sunday due to the high number of infections. The same goes for Norway, Lebanon and Andorra, announces the Robert Koch Institut. Anyone coming from a high-risk area and not fully vaccinated or cured must be quarantined for 10 days: the process is suspended with a negative test 5 days after entry.

The individual national situations are placed, within the EU, within the framework built by the ECDC, the European Center for the prevention and control of diseases.

In the new bulletin, Italy is among the 6 classified at the level of “moderate concern”, together with Austria, Bulgaria, Iceland, Malta and Slovenia. While the level of concern for the whole area falls from “very high” (8.3 out of 10 in the previous report) to “high” (6.8 out of 10). The report relates to week 49, the one that ended Sunday 12 December, and the forecasts it contains concern the following 14 days, therefore weeks 50 (ending December 19) and 51 (ending December 26). For Italy, and for the other countries in the same ‘group’, cases will increase again, but hospitalizations and deaths could stabilize, while ICU admissions will decline.