For Europe, it seems like ages ago that there were lockdowns in many of the countries. Yet, due to the rise of covid-19 throughout the continent, many countries are heading back into lockdown – with some making some changes from last time.
European Countries Heading Into Lockdown
The UK Lockdown Procedures
Starting Thursday (November 5), England will start a 4 week lockdown set of procedures. That is the current timeframe for now but some ministers are already talking about the potential to extend it beyond that, based on the facts and data that come out over the next month.
For this lockdown, pubs, restaurants, gyms, and non-essential shops will be closed. Takeaway will still be available. However, schools, colleges, and universities will remain open.
These new restrictions will include telling people to stay home unless there is some reason they need to leave (such as for essential work or school). However, people can go out for exercise and grocery shopping. They can also go out to take care of people that need help.
As for meeting, it is not allowed to meet others from a different household indoors but they can meet in a public space that is outside.
As for travel, it is being said that people should avoid traveling out of their local area and reduce the number of journeys they need to make. But, “overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed. This includes holidays abroad and in the UK. It also means you cannot stay in a second home.”
For those that are returning to the UK, they will still need to isolate for 14 days.
Germany Lockdown Procedures
Germany is entering a partial lockdown as of tomorrow, November 2. This will also last 4 weeks (as of right now). The new restrictions will close bars and pubs while restaurants will be allowed to stay open for takeaway only.
There will be new restrictions for shops that will only permit one person per 10 square meters inside at a time. Gyms, cinemas, and theaters will close. Hotels will be closed for tourists.
As for visiting friends and family, the new restrictions will limit that number to 10 people and it can only be a total of two households present. Schools will remain open.
France Lockdown Procedures
In contrast to Germany, the new lockdown procedures for France will be even more restrictive. These new restrictions will be in place until December 1 and people will only be allowed to leave their homes for exercise (limit of one hour per day), medical purposes and to purchase essentials. Similar to Greece and France earlier in the spring, those that go out will need to fill out a form to attest to the purpose of being outside.
People will be able to go up to 1km away from their home. Non essential businesses will be required to close, and this includes restaurants.
Greece Lockdown Procedures
Greece had four separate zones of warning but after the northern region of Greece started hitting higher numbers this past week (including in the 2nd largest city in the country, Thessaloniki), they are now going to just two zones.
With this change will also come new lockdown procedures for most of the country. These go into effect November 3 and will remain for the entire month of November.
The new restrictions will only allow takeaway and deliveries for restaurants while bars will close. In addition, there is a curfew from midnight until 5am and mask use is mandatory both inside and outside. Supermarkets will remain open as will bakeries and mini markets but with a limit of 1 person per 10 square meters.
In addition, universities will go to online only while schools will remain open. There will be no public gatherings but places of worship can remain open with a limit of up to 9 people at any time.
For those breaking any of these restrictions, there will be a fine issued of €150 with other fines for organizers of events/assemblies that violate the restrictions.
These are the four big lockdown announcements of the weekend with other European countries already putting additional limits on daily activities or locations. I think we can expect more countries to step up their lockdowns as the numbers rise.
I know for Greece that those under 70 are rarely in the hospital or have a difficult time with it. The new numbers of daily infections just crossed 2,000 people in 24 hours while France is over 30,000 people per day (with a population that is 6 times that of Greece). For Greece (and likely other countries) the restrictions are being done in large part to ease the strain being put on the healthcare system with some hospitals and cities reaching close to 100% of full beds in the ICUs.