HomeCoronavirusEurope studies reimposing restrictions due to increase in covid-19 cases

Europe studies reimposing restrictions due to increase in covid-19 cases

The Dutch Government warned today that it will consider tomorrow, Friday, the need to reinstate restrictions to stop the sharp increase in infections, which reached 5.475 in the last 24 hours, compared to 800 on the past day 1, although this has not yet meant a rise in hospitalizations.

The Dutch Minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge, stated that "we are seeing a very rapid increase that has not yet translated into hospital admissions, but it is going very fast", and assured that he will analyze tomorrow the proposals that the team of Outbreak Management (OMT), which is studying the need for restrictions.

Germany studies declaring all of Spain a risk zone for covid

The German government is studying including all of Spain in the list of regions at risk for covid, the lowest of three alert levels according to the state of the pandemic, the Funke group media reported today.

According to government sources, the measure could be announced tomorrow, Friday, in the weekly update of the risk lists published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) of virology after agreeing on them with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Health.

The inclusion in the risk list - contrary to the qualifications of "risk due to high incidence" and "risk due to dangerous variant" - has almost no direct repercussions for German tourists who are in Spain or plan to travel to Spain in the next days.

If this change occurs, German tourists should take a test when returning to their country but not quarantine, exactly as those who return from regions that are not considered at risk should do.

One of the key criteria for declaring a region at risk is that the cumulative incidence in seven days exceeds 50 cases per 100.000 inhabitants.

Currently, Andalusia, Catalonia, Cantabria, Navarra, La Rioja, the Basque Country and Ceuta are considered risk areas. The Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, the two main destinations for German tourists in Spain, are not considered risk areas.

The German Government acknowledged yesterday, Wednesday, that it was closely following the evolution of the pandemic in the Balearic Islands, but advanced that it would not give recommendations as France has done, for example.

"We do not give recommendations, we make our lists," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Regarding the possibility of Mallorca being declared a risk zone, he said he did not have "a crystal ball", but referred to "the numbers and the trend."

If the seven-day incidence exceeds 200 cases per 100.000 inhabitants, Germany can declare the affected regions as high-incidence risk areas, which does imply strong restrictions.

Right now, eleven countries are included in that list, from which only German citizens or people with the right of residence can travel to Germany and, despite being fully immunized, must keep 14 days of quarantine

Portugal: Test or digital certificate for hotels and restaurants

The Government of Portugal announced today that from now on it will be mandatory to present a negative test or the European digital certificate to access restaurants and hotels during weekends.  

"There is still a worsening of the situation," the Portuguese government admitted today after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. 

France recommends avoiding going on vacation to Spain and Portugal

The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, recommended this Thursday to avoid going on vacation in Spain and Portugal due to the high incidence of covid-19.

"Those who have not yet booked their vacations, avoid, let's avoid Portugal and Spain", urged Beaune in the chain France 2.

"It is better to stay in France or go to another country," added the minister. Beaune pointed out Catalonia in particular, where, he said, "many French people go to party or spend the summer."

In response, the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, considered that "the concerns of a friendly state like France" are "understandable."

"It is a piece of advice," added the Portuguese Foreign Minister, who acknowledged that the health situation in his country has "worsened."

Almost half of the ten million Portuguese are again subjected to a night curfew to stop a covid-19 outbreak caused by the Delta variant, which is already prevalent.

The measure applies to the 45 municipalities most affected by infections, located mainly in the regions of Lisbon and the Algarve (south), as well as northern cities such as Porto or Braga.

The ambassador of Spain in Francia, José Manuel Albares, urged for his part to act with "prudence" and "consultation" between European partners.

"Shaking fears is useless," Albares told AFP, before adding that Spain is "one of the countries with the highest vaccination coverage in the world."

With the arrival of summer and the relaxation of measures - such as the lifting of the obligation to wear a mask outdoors at all times - the incidence has also skyrocketed in Spain, especially among the youngest.

Beaune, who said that France is particularly monitoring the situation in those two countries, added that "in the coming days" there could be a "strengthening of restrictive measures".

President Emmanuel Macron will preside over an exceptional health Defense Council on Monday in which the progress of the Delta variant, which emerged in India, will be addressed, among other issues.

The virus "is gaining ground again" due to the Delta variant, which already represents "more than 40% of contaminations" in Franciagovernment spokesman Gabriel Attal had said Wednesday.

The number of new cases has increased by more than 20% in seven days and among young people aged 20 to 29 the incidence rate has doubled.