Christmas in Europe, between restrictions and slow de-escalation | World | America Edition

European countries are evaluating measures to try to prevent the Christmas holidays from being a spreading element of the coronavirus, which translates into new restrictions in Germany and the United Kingdom, and slower de-escalation, as in France.

In addition, a negative collateral effect of the covid-19 pandemic is seen in the AIDS virus, which could cause between 69,000 and 148,000 additional deaths in the world between 2020 and 2022, warns a report by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS).

The report, published on the eve of International AIDS Day (December 1), concludes that endemic problems in the response to this disease, which caused 690,000 deaths in 2019, contributed to another virus, COVID, spreading more rapidly. this year.


The German Chancellor, , defended today the tightening until December 20 of the current restrictions by not having achieved the expected consolidated decrease in new infections, and appealed to the responsibility of the population during the Christmas period. In a statement in the Bundestag on the coronavirus, Merkel stressed that with the partial stoppage of public life in force since last day 2, contacts have been reduced by up to 40% and the “dramatic exponential increase in new contagions “.

For this reason, the federal government and the federated states agreed yesterday that “it is not possible” or “responsible” to relax the restrictions and agreed to extend, and in some cases even toughen, the limitation of contacts, he explained. Thus, for example, the maximum number of people in a meeting of ten from two households is reduced to five from two households, although those under 14 years of age are excluded from this calculation.

During Christmas -between December 23 and January 1- there will be a certain relaxation of the measures to enable the celebration with family or friends, raising the maximum number of meetings to ten, not counting those under 14. The numbers of new infections have stabilized at an “too high” level, today with 22,268 new infections, practically the same as a week ago.


The French Prime Minister, , announced this Thursday a progressive end to the restrictions to gradually leave the confinement, with the goal of ending the vast majority of measures on January 20. On that day, “if the numbers improve,” the curfew will be lifted and bars and restaurants will reopen. He confirmed the reopening of shops starting this Saturday with a capacity limited to one person for every eight square meters, not including dependents and taking into account that each couple or family will count as a single customer.

Until December 15, citizens will be able to leave their homes for a maximum of three hours to walk, shop or sport, always carrying a sworn statement justifying the departure. In a second phase, starting on December 15, museums, cinemas and shows will reopen and a curfew will operate between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., but movie tickets or shows will serve to justify a possible delay.

In recent days, the average number of daily cases in France is 15,000, so the Government estimates that in the second week of December France would have achieved the government objective of reducing them below the level of 5,000 per day.


The British Minister of Health, Matt Hancock, details this Thursday in which areas of England the most severe levels of restriction will be applied – on a scale of three – to fight the pandemic from next December 2, when the current confinement expires . The Government has already advanced the introduction of “tougher” rules than those prior to confinement, as well as that these will be temporarily relaxed during Christmas so that up to three different addresses meet.

According to the latest official figures released, this country recorded another 696 deaths attributed to covid-19, the highest daily figure since last May 5, when 726 deaths were reported, while the number of new positives was 18,213 out of twenty-four hours.

It is expected that in the English areas most affected by the coronavirus crisis, social gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, will continue to be prohibited, and bars that do not serve take-out will remain closed. Gyms, hair salons and other non-essential commercial establishments may, however, reopen their doors.


Russia has recorded in the last 24 hours new maximums of daily infections and deaths from covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic last March, according to health authorities. The number of confirmed cases in the last day amounted to 25,487, almost 1,000 more than the previous day, while the deaths stood at 524, compared to 507 registered the day before.

In total, 2,187,990 cases of covid-19 and 38,062 deaths have been registered since March. Russia is the fifth country with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases after the US, India, Brazil and France.

The mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobianin, announced this Thursday the extension until January 15 of some restrictions, such as the confinement of those over 65 and teleworking for 30% of company workforces.


The Government of Portugal finalizes a vaccination plan against the covid, which in the first phase will have “little availability” of doses, while the intensive care units reach maximum admissions for coronavirus with more than half a thousand patients.

According to the Portuguese Minister of Health, Marta Temido, Christmas will not be the same as in other years, although she stated that it is still too early to define the restrictions that will be established. Portugal, with about 10 million inhabitants, is in a state of emergency, the highest alert level in the country, until December 8, although the Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has already warned that it could be necessary to extend it further beyond that date.

Much of the country is under a curfew between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., although during weekends and holidays it is even more restrictive (from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.) in municipalities with an incidence more than 480 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Since the pandemic began, there have been 274,011 positives and 4,127 deaths.


Ukraine registered 15,331 COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, a new daily maximum since the outbreak of the pandemic last March, local authorities reported on Thursday. In addition, 225 people died in the last day.

In total, the country has reported 677,189 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11,717 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The Ukrainian government has decreed quarantines for the weekends to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.


The Greek Government announced this Thursday that it was extending the confinement for covid for one more week until December 7 and that from then on, a de-escalation could be entered if the epidemic data allows it. Today marks three weeks since the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced the second lockdown of the year and it was originally expected to end next Monday.

The current restrictions include the closure of all catering, leisure, commerce and education. Only food stores, pharmacies, gas stations, workshops and kiosks are open. In addition, in the public sector, teleworking is mandatory for at least 50% of the workforce and a curfew from nine at night to five in the morning.

Despite this, the numbers of infections have dropped little in recent days and still exceed 2,000 cases a day – the goal before reopening was to drop to 500 at most – while the number of deaths has reached record levels in the last week , surpassing the hundred last Saturday and Sunday, and approaching him so far this week.


In Sweden, the news focus is on Prince Carlos Felipe and his wife, Princess Sofia, who have tested positive for coronavirus, the Royal House of the Scandinavian country reported on Thursday. “The princes have mild symptoms, but are well according to the circumstances. Just after falling ill they isolated themselves at home together with their children,” he said in a statement.

Both Kings Carlos XVI Gustavo and Silvia as well as Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel, will undergo a coronavirus test throughout the day to find out if they have also been infected.

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