European Coronavirus Lockdown Status
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe earlier this year, governments across the continent have taken many “lockdown” or “confinement” measures of varying intensity to contain its spread. Below is a summary table of some of the key restrictions that have been imposed on social and economic activity in the European Union’s five most populous countries as well as the United Kingdom. Click here to read related articles from the six countries.
|• = No • = Yes • = Partial|
|Is there a state of emergency?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Is a minimum of 1.5 m distance between people enforced?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Is wearing a facemask on public transport compulsory?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Is wearing a facemask in shops compulsory?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are Schengen borders open?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are non-Schengen borders open?||•||•||•||•||N/A||•|
|Is travelling within the country allowed?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are people returning from international travel quarantined?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are people allowed to go outside for non-essential errands?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are kindergartens open for children of non-key workers?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Is on-site schooling allowed for children of non-key workers?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Is on-site teaching allowed in universities?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are small non-essential shops open?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are large non-essential shops open?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Can restaurants and cafés serve customers on site?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are religious services allowed?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are indoor sports centres/gyms open?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are large sporting events allowed?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Is public transport running fully?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are people allowed to meet in larger groups?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Can people visit each other at home?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are outdoor leisure facilities (e.g. zoos, botanical gardens) open?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Are indoor cultural facilities (e.g museums, galleries) open?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Is access to doctors/healthcare (non-coronavirus) restricted?||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Number of Cases as of May 4 (WHO Data)||179,717||142,852||267,244||231,139||237,141||22,473|
|Date of first reported case (WHO Data)||January 28||January 24||January 31||January 20||January 31||March 5|
|Date of first reported death (WHO Data)||March 9||February 15||March 6||February 22||March 4||March 12|
|Date first restrictions came into effect||March 16||March 13||March 18||February 23||March 9||March 9|
|Date state of emergency was announced||None||March 23||None||January 31||March 14||None|
|First relaxation steps came into a effect||April 20||May 11||May 13||May 4||April 27||April 20|
|Second relaxation steps came into a effect||May 6||N/A||N/A||N/A||May 11||May 4|
*Updated on May 22, 2020.
Compared to other countries, the number of fatalities caused by the coronavirus in Germany is still low. The Robert Koch-Institut cautions, however, that this should not be taken for granted. The article explains why the data on death rates should be treated with caution and what hypotheses exist for the low number in Germany.
Macron recognized the errors he made in the health reform he announced back in 2018. Given the extreme pressure suffered by the French health system these last weeks and the deep malaise expressed by many on their working conditions, the French government announced a large discussion to promote a major reform of the public health sector.
Dominic Cummings, senior advisor to Prime Minister Johnson repeatedly broke lockdown rules. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other institutions quickly expressed their support, arguing that his behavior was reasonable. The author maintains that the administration’s reaction was not only purely hypocritical but an "ugly display of naked honesty” as an administration which reacts faster to allegations against its senior members than it responds to the coronavirus, exposing the wrong priorities.
Spain’s government coalition plans to issue a decree to help the 2.3 million poorest people in society withstand the economic impact of the coronavirus next month. The measure will need to be approved by parliament and will serve to top up incomes to a guaranteed level of between 461 EUR and 1015 EUR depending on household circumstances.
From May 30, public gatherings of up to 150 people will be permitted to take place, as long as social distancing regulations are observed. Masks will still have to be worn indoors (e.g. cinemas, churches, public transport), where social distancing cannot be enforced, but it will no longer be mandatory to wear them outdoors, and there will no longer be limits on the number of people allowed inside shops, restaurants, and churches at any given time. Prime Minister Morawiecki credited Poland's response with giving the country much fewer casualties than wealthier countries, although Poland is now one of only two European countries (the other is Sweden) where the daily number of new infections is not consistently falling. The government's response has eased the strain on the healthcare system but delayed the peak of infections, hence Poland has had to increase testing rates significantly, particularly in areas with localized outbreaks such as the Silesian coal mines.
How is it possible that the same virus that in March killed almost half of patients, in May is killing ten times less? The virologist Massimo Clementi claims that the virus has changed, losing part of its aggressiveness. Other reasons might be that hospitals and nursing homes are more prepared than in the early days; with more beds available, hospitals respond better. Other possible contributing factors: February and March patients’ serological tests showed other flu viruses that suggested concomitant infections, air pollution was irritating the respiratory tract which worsened prognosis, and in the last months of 2019 and in the first two of 2020 there was a lower mortality in Milan than elsewhere in Italy, which led to the accumulation in the population of a reservoir of fragile people affected by a heavy immediate mortality.
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.