Lockdown

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria extends lockdown to February 7, mandates FFP2 masks
Austria extends lockdown to February 7, mandates FFP2 masks
Credit: Herzi Pinki, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Austrian government has extended the nationwide lockdown to February 7, citing the new mutation B.1.1.7 that was first discovered in the United Kingdom and the daily case count of well over 1000 newly confirmed infections. Chancellor Kurz promises "complete normality" until summer and warned that "we still have two to three tough months ahead of us".

FFP2 masks will be mandatory in all stores and on public transport and strongly recommended everywhere else from January 25 on. Starting February 8, non-essential businesses will be able to reopen while hotels, restaurants and the cultural sector will have to remain closed awaiting further evaluation in February.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany extends Covid-19 lockdown until January 31
Germany extends Covid-19 lockdown until January 31
Credit: Bundesregierung (Public Domain)

Germany's federal and state governments have agreed to extend the existing Covid-19 measures until January 31. Also, further measures will be taken, in particular, contact restrictions are to be greatly strengthened, and private contacts are to be reduced to one person outside the household.

Additionally, travel without a valid reason will be restricted to no more than 15 kilometres in hotspot-areas and day trips will be prohibited.

Regional News • Asia • Japan
Japan considers 1-month long state of emergency for Tokyo area

Japan is considering declaring a state of emergency as numbers of Coronavirus cases rise. It would apply to Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa. In his new year's speech, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga already hinted at measures to keep the virus from spreading. Japan reported 4520 new cases on December 31st and 3158 on January 3rd.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria goes into its third hard lockdown
Austria goes into its third hard lockdown
Credit: unsplash.com / Ashley Winkler

The Austrian government has imposed the nation's third lockdown, starting on Saturday 26, after giving people looser rules over the Christmas holidays. From Saturday on, all non-essential business and in-person education will remain closed until at least January 18 and people will not be allowed to leave their homes except for "necessary basic needs of life", exercise, work and health reasons.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Ontario: Hard lockdown after Coronavirus case surge
Ontario: Hard lockdown after Coronavirus case surge
Credit: HickoryOughtShirt?4, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Canadian province Ontario is imposing a hard lockdown before the Christmas holidays. Thousands of lives are at stake, said Ontario’s premier Doug Ford. Northern communities face two weeks of restrictions while densely populated cities in the south will be in lockdown for a month.

What will be closed: Most in-person education, schools, restaurants, bars, malls, entertainment venues, gyms.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
Credit: unsplash/Max van den Oetelaar

After a new Covid-19 strain was detected in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson abruptly imposed a Tier 4 lockdown on southeast England, including London, banning Christmas gatherings beyond individual households and support bubbles.

All non-essential shops and businesses have to close at midnight and residents are to stay at home except to travel for work or education. The new restrictions apply in London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London) and the East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring). The new restrictions will be reviewed on December 30.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria imposes third hard lockdown starting December 26
Austria imposes third hard lockdown starting December 26
Credit: Illustration by Ashley Winkler for Pendect (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Austrian government has announced the nation's third lockdown, starting on December 26 and lasting until January 18. Restaurants, museums, beauty establishments and schools will remain closed. Starting on January 18, the federal government is planning to make it compulsory for customers to show a negative Covid-19 test when entering a shop or restaurant, and the police are also to carry out random checks.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany enters lockdown as daily death record reaches 952
Germany enters lockdown as daily death record reaches 952
Credit: Bluemel1, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Germany is entering a strict lockdown on Wednesday as it reports its highest daily death count. 952 people have died of a Covid-19 infection over the past 24 hours, bringing the total death count to 23,427.

From today on until January 10th non-essential businesses will remain closed, including restaurants, museums and beauty salons.

Regional News • Europe
Netherlands: Five-week strict lockdown imposed
Netherlands: Five-week strict lockdown imposed
Credit: Illustration for Pendect by Ashley Winkler

The Netherlands imposed a five-week strict lockdown nationwide on Monday. Nonessential businesses, eateries, schools and cultural places will remain closed. The lockdown is set to end on January 19th.

Dutch PM Mark Rutte: "We have to bite through this very sour apple before things get better. The reality is that this is not an innocent flu as some people — like the demonstrators outside — think. But a virus that can hit everybody hard."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced new national lockdown measures until the 10th of January.
Alexanderplatz, Berlin, during the Covid-19 outbreak in April 2020
Alexanderplatz, Berlin, during the Covid-19 outbreak in April 2020 Credit: Neomicro (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The German chancellor has announced the closure of stores, schools and daycare centres in the run-up to Christmas to stem the surge in coronavirus cases. The new rules will come into effect from Wednesday, December 16th and will last until January 10th

According to the new measures, retail will close except for essential goods. There will be a ban on fireworks ahead of New Year’s Eve, hair salons, schools and daycare centres will also close. Takeaway food and food delivery is still possible, but takeaway cannot be eaten near the place of purchase

Regional News • Europe • France
France will delay lockdown easing if necessary
France will delay lockdown easing if necessary
Credit: unsplash.com / Kevin Dellandrea

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal has said that France will delay lockdown easing if necessary to avoid the further spread of the Coronavirus. France is due to ease many restrictions on December 15th.

“If we consider that ... we must modify this second phase (of lifting lockdown measures), then of course we will do it,” Attal told CNews television.

Regional News • Americas • United States
San Francisco Bay Area issues stay-at-home order, ahead of state mandate
San Francisco Bay Area issues stay-at-home order, ahead of state mandate
Credit: Billie Grace Ward from New York, USA, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Five Bay Area counties, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara and the City of Berkeley, said Friday in a joint announcement that they will adopt the state's stay-at-home order ahead of the state mandate in hopes to curb the further spread of Covid-19 and numbers of hospitalizations.

"The virus is spreading rapidly throughout the city like never before. We need to move fast, keeping ahead of this virus as much as possible," so Dr Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s director of public health, during a news briefing Friday afternoon, warning that at the current rate San Francisco's hospitals will run out f hospital beds the day after Christmas.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria to ease lockdown restrictions on Monday; quarantine mandatory for arriving travellers
Sebastian Kurz
Sebastian Kurz Credit: Пресс-служба Президента России (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Austria will ease its lockdown measures on Monday, reopening stores, museums and schools while hotels and gastronomy have to remain closed until January 7th. The 24-hour-lockdown is being lifted, but a nighttime curfew between 8 pm and 6 am will still apply. Ski slopes will be opened on December 24th "so that the Austrian population has the chance to engage in sporting activity over the holidays."

Starting mid-December, arriving travellers will have to go into quarantine for 10 days but will be able to take a free test after five days and can leave quarantine early if the test comes back negative. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz appeared to blame Austrian residents with family abroad for bringing back the virus to Austria after returning from visits at the end of the summer, sparking criticism in the country.

"We had very, very low infection rates in the summer after the lockdown, and then the virus brought back into the country by people returning from their home countries, especially those who had spent the summer in their countries of origin," so Kurz.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany extends partial lockdown until January 10th
Berlin Alexanderplatz Berlin 11 during the first Covid-19 lockdown
Berlin Alexanderplatz Berlin 11 during the first Covid-19 lockdown Credit: Neomicro (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that the country's partial lockdown will be extended until at least January 10th, aiming to reduce the seven-day incidence (confirmed Covid-19 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days) to less than 50.

Hotels, eateries, bars and cultural and leisure facilities will remain closed and gatherings will now be limited to a maximum of five people from two households. During December 23 and January 1, up to ten people will be able to gather to allow for families to celebrate.

"If the infection situation continues to develop as in the last days, we will meet again on January 4th and the states are extending the directive (for a shutdown) to January 10th," Merkel said following a five-hour meeting with the 16 German state leaders on Wednesday.

Regional News • Oceania
South Australia to enter "circuit breaker" lockdown after coronavirus cluster grows
South Australia to enter "circuit breaker" lockdown after coronavirus cluster grows
Credit: unsplash.com / Marcus Wallis

South Australia will begin a six-day lockdown from midnight on Wednesday night to prevent the further spread of a coronavirus cluster.

It's set to be the harshest lockdown implemented anywhere in Australia, with the closure of schools, universities, cafes, pubs, takeaway shops and restaurants.

The cluster originated at a hotel quarantine, with a worker spreading the virus to family members.

There have been 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state after Australia had recorded over a week with no local cases.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austrian government announces hard lockdown starting on Nov 17th, hopes for "mood of solidarity"
Closed café during lockdown in Vienna
Closed café during lockdown in Vienna Credit: Herzi Pinki, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Austrian government has announced a "hard lockdown" starting November 17th to contain rising numbers of Covid-19 infections. The country has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks, averaging over 7000 daily cases in the past seven days. Aa partial lockdown was introduced two weeks ago but was deemed ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus.

The new and stricter measures, which will be in effect until at least December 6th, include the closing of schools and all non-essential businesses as well as a 24-hour curfew. People are urged to stay inside their homes except for a few exceptions, e.g. for emergencies, job-related purposes, "necessary basic needs of daily life", help and care of family members and "physical and mental recovery". Restaurants, gyms and museums have already been closed since early November. 

Regional News • Europe • Austria
9,262 new Covid-19 infections in Austria

Austria has recorded 9,262 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours, including late reports of new infections from the last few days due to technical problems in the reporting system.

Health Minister Rudolf Anschober appeals to operators and customers of shopping centers to adhere to Covid-19 regulations, after pictures of people crowded together in shopping centers surfaced.

Regional News • Europe
Portugal and Hungary impose partial lockdown

Portugal and Hungary are imposing stricter Covid-19 measures, including a night curfew. While Hungary's curfew will run from 8pm to 5am, Portugal's curfew is set to run from 11pm to 5am on weekdays and from 1pm to 5am on weekends.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria goes into 4-week partial lockdown starting Tuesday, imposes curfew and restrictions on private gatherings
Sebastian Kurz
Sebastian Kurz Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Starting Tuesday, November 3, Austria enters its second lockdown which is set to last until November 30. Newly imposed restrictions include a nightly curfew from 8 pm to 6 am during which citizen are not allowed to leave their homes except for emergencies, job-related purposes, "necessary basic needs of daily life", help and care of family members and "physical and mental recovery". Restaurants, bars and gyms must be closed, and all events will be cancelled throughout November. The Austrian government has further introduced a "two-household-rule", meaning gatherings are restricted to a maximum of six people from not more than two different households.

"We are aware that these measures are unpopular", said Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) on Saturday.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austrian chancellor considers second lockdown as a measure of last resort
Austrian chancellor considers second lockdown as a measure of last resort
Credit: Bundesministerium für Finanzen, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz has stated that he considered a second lockdown as a measure of last resort to contain the further spread of Covid-19 and prevent hospitals reaching capacity.

"We have a massively increasing, exponential growth. It is an extreme challenge. The situation is very, very serious, even for those who still refuse to believe it," so Kurz.