Germany and Portugal to Reinstate Post-Christmas COVID Restrictions

European nations, including Germany and Portugal, have announced post-Christmas restrictions and greater social distancing measures to curb the spread of the dominant strain, Omicron, in many European countries.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced on Tuesday that private gatherings would be restricted to ten people, nightclubs would close, and football matches would be played behind closed doors beginning December 28. 

“Coronavirus doesn’t take a Christmas break… We cannot – and must not – close our eyes to this next wave, which is beginning to loom over us,” Scholz added.

Meanwhile, Portugal, which has one of the highest vaccination rates, also announced that from December 26 to January 9, nightclubs would be shut, work from home would be mandatory, and outdoor gatherings would be limited to ten people.

On Monday, the Netherlands has imposed a strict Christmas lockdown until January 14 and required travelers from the EU border-free Schengen zone to show a negative COVID-19 test result.

Earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out any new restrictions for England before Christmas, but Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have all announced curbs on social mixing.

According to the latest EU figures, Europe has already seen more than 89 million cases and 1.5 million Covid-related deaths.

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