Covid-19 Movement Restrictions

Regional News • Europe • Italy
Italy entered a three-day Easter lockdown amid vaccination snags
Italy entered a three-day Easter lockdown amid vaccination snags
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Italy entered a three-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown Saturday to deter Easter travel and get-togethers even as the country's variant-fueled spike in new infections began to wane.

The government had announced last month that it would place all regions into the strictest "red zone" lockdown over the Easter weekend to limit the chances of contagion, taking the same precautions it enforced over Christmas and New Year's. But because Italian hospitals in most regions are still well over their Covid-19 capacity in both intensive care units and other wards, the ministry concluded that new infections were still "too high ... to allow any reduction in current restrictive measures."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Entry by air to Germany from now on only possible with a negative Covid-19 test result
Entry by air to Germany from now on only possible with a negative Covid-19 test result
Credit: unsplash.com / reisetopia

As of today, entry by air to Germany is only possible with a negative Covid-19 test. A corresponding amendment to the Coronavirus Entry Regulation came into force at midnight. The new regulation applies regardless of the Corona situation in the country from which someone is flying to Germany. The test may be no more than 48 hours old at the time of entry. The measure is limited until 12 May.

Regional News • Europe
Sweden to end travel ban for people travelling from Norway and Denmark on March 31
Sweden to end travel ban for people travelling from Norway and Denmark on March 31
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Swedish government said it would end the travel ban for people travelling from Norway and Denmark to Sweden on March 31. All people travelling to Sweden will still need a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country.

"This means, among other things, that Norwegians and Danes can travel to their holiday homes in Sweden and that families and friends across borders can meet each other," Mikael Damberg, Minister of the Interior, told a news conference.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Argentinean government announced that flights from Brazil, Chile and Mexico will be suspended.
Aerolineas Argentinas plane
Aerolineas Argentinas plane Credit: Andrew W. Sieber (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Argentinean government on Friday formalized the suspension of flights from Brazil, Chile and Mexico, due to the increasing cases of Covid-19 in those countries, and the circulation of new strains. The new measure starts on Saturday.

The government's objective is to reduce the number of trips during Easter Week, a time when many citizens tend to travel around the country or abroad, which in this case is the main concern.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany reverses extended 'Easter lockdown' after criticism
Germany reverses extended 'Easter lockdown' after criticism
Credit: Bundeskanzlerin

After massive criticism, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has decided to put a stop to the extended 'Easter lockdown' that had been planned to go from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday. This was announced by Merkel on Wednesday in a meeting with the Minister-Presidents of the federal states, which was convened at short notice, as SPIEGEL learned from several participants. At the federal-state roundtable on Monday, Merkel and the heads of the states had initially agreed on a comprehensive cut over the Easter holidays.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Disneyland theme parks in California plan to reopen on April 30
Tomorrowland at Disneyland
Tomorrowland at Disneyland Credit: Justin Brown (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Walt Disney's two theme parks in California will reopen on April 30 to a limited number of guests. The company announced on Wednesday, over a year after they closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The resort includes the original Disneyland and the adjacent California Adventure theme parks.

Visitors aged 2 and up will need to wear masks, except when eating, drinking or swimming, and following other safety measures, including temperature checks before entering and social distancing on rides and throughout the parks.

Regional News • Europe • Italy
Italy: lockdown starts Monday, exponential Coronavirus growth
Italy: lockdown starts Monday, exponential Coronavirus growth
Credit: unsplash.com/Gabriella Clare Marino

Italy headed into another strict lockdown on Monday. Regions that are considered red zones are affected by the new measures to contain the spread of more potent Coronavirus strains.

“I am aware that today’s measures will have an impact on children’s education, on the economy but also on the psychological state of us all,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Friday. “But they are necessary to avoid a worsening that will make inevitable even more stringent measures.”

Regional News • Africa
Mauritius in National Lockdown
Mauritius in National Lockdown
Credit: unsplash.com / Guillaume Baudusseau

The Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, has announced, this evening, during a televised address to the nation, that a lockdown will be implemented from 10 March 2021 at six am till 25 March 2021, following an increase in Covid-19 cases.

He indicated that the virus is now to be found in several clusters adding that new positive cases have been detected today which are not from the initial cluster.

As part of the restrictions, all activities will remain closed except for the police, port, airport, fire services, health, pharmacy, and security services.

Essential services that will operate on 10 March 2021 are health services, fire services, security services, petrol facilities, security services, pharmacy services, and retail distribution chains.

Supermarkets, superettes, shops, bakeries, and petrol stations will remain closed tomorrow but will reopen on 11 March 2021 with strict sanitary measures. Access to these services will be in alphabetical order.

The Prime Minister confirmed that a local case of COVID-19 has been detected in Mauritius and it is a person working in a company dealing with products from South Africa. To this end, he stressed that additional precautions have been taken to avoid the risk of contamination in the country.

Lifestyle • Travel
Thailand to allow tourists to quarantine in hotel facilities
Thailand to allow tourists to quarantine in hotel facilities
Credit: unsplash.com / Katie Musial

Thailand plans to allow foreign visitors to quarantine in local hotel facilities in a bid to revive its dormant tourism sector. The plan is initially planned for April or May in five provinces, including Phuket and Krabi, says Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn. Visitors would usually stay there for between one and three months.

Tourists would then have to be quarantined there for 14 days. But if there is a negative corona test after three days, they are allowed to leave their rooms and move freely around the hotel complexes. In 2020, tourism revenues in Thailand had plummeted by more than 80 percent to just under $11 billion (about 9 billion euros).

Regional News • Europe • France
Dunkirk region to impose weekend lockdown
Olivier Véran being vaccinated
Olivier Véran being vaccinated Credit: Olivier Véran (Twitter Reproduction)

Health Minister Olivier Véran announced a weekend lockdown for the northern French Dunkirk area. Véran called the Dunkirk area situation "alarming" as infection rates are over 900 infections per 100,000 people.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said "requires rapid and strong measures" were necessary due to "a worsening situation" and to "avoid having to impose another national lockdown."

Regional News • Oceania
New Zealand locks down Auckland over new Covid-19 cases
Auckland Skyline
Auckland Skyline Credit: Pedro Szekely (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday announced a three-day lockdown in Auckland after three unexplained cases of coronavirus were discovered.

The country had successfully stamped out community spread, after closing its international borders and implementing strict social distancing rules early on in the pandemic.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany to impose travel ban from parts of Czech Republic and Austria
Germany to impose travel ban from parts of Czech Republic and Austria
Credit: JoachimKohler-HB, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 IGO)

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has announced that Germany will impose a travel ban from Austria's province Tyrol and "border regions of the Czech Republic" in an effort to curb the spread of more potent Covid-19 mutations. Tyrol has seen an increase in new infections of the 501.V2 variant that was first detected in South Africa.

“The states of Bavaria and Saxony today asked the government to class Tyrol and the border regions of the Czech Republic as virus mutation areas, and to implement border controls,” so Seehofer. “That has been agreed with the (German) chancellor and the vice-chancellor.”

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
England: fines and jail for false declarations after traveling during Covid-19 pandemic
England: fines and jail for false declarations after traveling during Covid-19 pandemic
Credit: Chris McAndrew / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Those who disregard the Covid-19 regulations for returning travelers must expect severe consequences in the future, the British Health Minister Matt Hancock announced. Fines of up to 2,000 pounds (about 2,280 euros) are threatened if tests are not taken. Up to 10,000 pounds must be paid if the prescribed hotel quarantine is not adhered to. Those who conceal stays in risk areas when entering the country must even expect up to ten years in prison, according to the minister.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria eases lockdown restrictions; imposes stricter border controls
Austria eases lockdown restrictions; imposes stricter border controls
Credit: unsplash/Jacek Dylag

Austria has eased national lockdown restrictions, starting today. Non-essential shops, museums and libraries can reopen its doors with mandatory FFP2 masks for both guests and employees and a limited number of people. Hairdressers and other beauty-related services can reopen as well but, additionally to FFP2 masks, clients are required to produce a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 48 hours.

Hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as sports and other leisure facilities, will not be reopening this week.

The government has further imposed stricter entry and quarantine rules for travellers, including producing a negative Covid-19 result and committing to self-quarantine for 10 days.

Sports • Soccer
The German government says RB Leipzig cannot host Liverpool in the Champions League
The German government says RB Leipzig cannot host Liverpool in the Champions League
Credit: Steffen Prößdorf (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

RB Leipzig will not host Liverpool in the Champions League later this month after authorities ruled the English club cannot enter Germany because of coronavirus mutations in the UK, the Interior Ministry said Thursday. The match was set to take place in Leipzig on February 16, but the German federal police responsible for border control (the Bundespolizei) rejected RB's application for a special permit that would have allowed Jürgen Klopp's Premier League outfit to enter the country.

"The Coronavirus Protection Order agreed by the federal government last Friday envisions only a few exceptions and no special arrangements for professional athletes," the German Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Mass panic at illegal party in Bolivia causes injuries

An illegal party with over a hundred people in the Bolivian city of Quillacollo left dozens of people injured. After the police arrived, the organizers closed and locked the doors, causing a mass panic. According to the mayor, people poured out of the doors like an avalanche.

Regional News • Europe
Norway shuts borders, allows only essential travel
Utsjoki, the national border between Finland and Norway, with Sami Bridge
Utsjoki, the national border between Finland and Norway, with Sami Bridge Credit: Risto Varhe, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg announced the closure of the country's border, hoping to curb the spread of new Coronavirus variants. Borders will remain open to Norwegian residents and "socially critical personnel" only.

Regional News • Europe
Portugal suspends flights from Brazil
Heather Cowper TAP aeroplane at Lisbon airport
Heather Cowper TAP aeroplane at Lisbon airport Credit: Heather Cowper (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Portuguese Interior Ministry said that the worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world and the detection of new variants justified the decision. The suspension will happen, initially, between January 29th and February 14th.

Only repatriation and humanitarian flights are allowed and even then travelers will need to show a negative Covid-19 test result that was done 72 hours before boarding and will submit to a 14-day isolation period.

Regional News • Europe • France
Decision on third lockdown in France "in the coming days"
Decision on third lockdown in France "in the coming days"
Credit: unsplash.com / Kevin Dellandrea

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said that the decision whether the government would impose a third lockdown will be coming "in the coming days". France has seen a rise in infections as well as hospitalisation. Over the past two days, 1000 people were hospitalised for Coronavirus in France. Jean-François Delfraissy, the head of France's advisory Scientific Council, said on TV that a third lockdown in France "will probably be necessary".

Regional News • Europe
Portugal: schools, kindergartens and universities close amid Coronavirus surge
Paços da Universidade, Portugal
Paços da Universidade, Portugal Credit: xiquinhosilva from Cacau, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In Portugal, the government orders the closure of schools and universities for at least 15 days. Due to the new virus variant and the rapid transmission, caution must be exercised, says Prime Minister Antonio Costa, explaining the measure. The country reported 221 more Corona deaths on Thursday alone, the most ever in a single day, and 13,544 new infections.