Restrictions imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic have started to be lifted in many European countries, two years after the arrival of the coronavirus in Europe, but there are countries which are tightening them, while the WHO advises the caution.
Nordic countries such as Denmark, Finland and Norway have taken the lead, but also the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands have lifted or eased restrictions in recent days.
Denmark on Tuesday became the first of the European Union countries to lift most restrictions aimed at combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
The most visible restriction that has disappeared is the use of masks, the use of which is now recommended only in hospitals, healthcare facilities and nursing homes.
It will also no longer be necessary to present a vaccination certificate to enter clubs, bars and restaurants.
In Norway, anti-Covid measures, such as compulsory telework or restrictions on the sale of alcohol ended today and the recommended limit on the number of guests in each house or people at sporting events has also been lifted.
It is no longer necessary to carry out a test at the border to enter Norway, but certain restrictions remain, such as wearing a mask where social distancing cannot be respected, such as in shops and on public transport.
In Finland, they were more cautious, border controls with other Schengen countries ended on Tuesday, continuing, at least until February 14, for travelers from outside the European Union.
Also from Tuesday, establishments that serve meals can be open until 9 p.m., instead of having to close at 6 p.m., and can sell alcohol until 8 p.m.
The government is negotiating with the parties the timetable for lifting other measures, some relating to “low risk” places, such as museums and cinemas, falling within the competence of regional and local authorities.
The UK has lifted almost all national restrictions, keeping self-isolation after a positive Covid-19 test as the only legal requirement.
The use of a mask is no longer mandatory, vaccination cards are no longer required to enter establishments and the recommendation to work from home is no longer there.
Ireland – Netherlands – France
Ireland has lifted most of its restrictions and the Netherlands has also relaxed them, although bars and restaurants must still close at 10 p.m.
France, which continues to report the highest number of daily cases on the continent, plans to lift or revise some restrictions from today, including on the use of masks outdoors and concentration limits. of people.
But masks must continue to be worn in many public places, nightclubs are closed and it is forbidden to eat or drink in cinemas, stadiums or on public transport.
Neighboring Switzerland, meanwhile, believes the Covid-19 crisis is about to enter an endemic phase and plans to lift all restrictions by mid-February.
“Of course the pandemic is not over, but we see light on the horizon,” Swiss Confederation President Ignazio Cassis said at a press conference today.
As for EU countries, they are not all moving in the same direction. Italy, for example, has multiplied the situations in which it requires the presentation of the certificate.
A recent measure is the requirement for at least one negative test taken in the previous 48 hours to enter banks and post offices, and anyone over the age of 50 who has not been vaccinated faces a fine of 100 €.
Germany decided a week ago to maintain several restrictions due to rising infections.
In Portugal, Covid-19 restrictions remain in place, including the mandatory use of a mask in closed spaces and a reduction in capacity in commercial establishments (1 person/5m2).
The compulsory EU Covid-19 digital certificate, in all modes or a complete vaccination certificate or a negative RT-PCR test or a negative rapid antigen test, must also be presented when accessing:
– Tourist establishments and local accommodation;
– Cultural shows;
– Events with reserved places;
A mandatory negative test or recovery certificate is also required, except for those who have already been vaccinated with a booster dose of the vaccine for at least 14 days, when accessing:
– Bars and clubs (from January 14);
– Major events;
– Visits to rest and care homes and health establishments.
Currently, entering Portugal by air or sea requires:
Compulsory negative test for all flights arriving in Portugal, even for those with a digital vaccination certificate, regardless of the point of origin of the flight or the nationality of the passenger
A mandatory passenger locator form
Entering Portugal by land requires:
Citizens of EU countries considered low or moderate risk must hold an EU digital COVID certificate, in the form of vaccination, test or recovery.
Citizens of non-EU countries and EU countries considered to have a red or dark red risk level must present:
– EU Covid-19 digital certificate in test or recovery mode, or
– Negative RT-PCR test performed within the last 72 hours, or
– Laboratory negative rapid antigen test performed within the last 48 hours