As the Omicron-new variant of COVID-19 spreads, several European nations have tightened their safety protocols. Several countries have tightened restrictions, whereas several have eased restrictions ahead of festivals.
Below are countries that have made changes in their policies:
Spain has made wearing facial masks mandatorily during Christmas.
Spain will be making wearing face masks outdoors a legal requirement from Christmas Eve. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is calling a special meeting on December 23 to pass a law, which means there will be no debate and no vote in Parliament.
The armed forces will be deployed to provide assistance in vaccine rollout and provide hospital beds. PM Sanchez hopes that 80% of the 60-69 years old will get the third booster dose by the first week of January.
Amid a reported shortage of tests, test kits will also be temporarily sold at Pharmacies. Retired medical staff and specialists who earned their education outside the EU will join the workforce.
The completely vaccinated one will not get quarantined if they contact someone who tested positive.
To enter Spain, travellers must carry their complete vaccination proof or the negative test report for COVID-19.
The Netherlands authorities have imposed a strict nationwide lockdown since December 19 and will remain under lockdown during the festive season.
Schools, colleges, universities, and all non-essentials shops, bars, and restaurants will remain closed until January 14. Essential businesses, including supermarkets and chemists, must close at 8 pm.
Usually, People will only be permitted two visitors at a time except for the festive season, which will increase to four visitors.
People from high-risk areas (including the UK) must also show proof of a negative test and quarantine for ten days to enter the Netherlands from December 22.
The country has imposed a nationwide lockdown on November 22 and ended it for vaccinated people three weeks later. Currently, unvaccinated people are still under lockdown and required to stay at home unless limited.
But authorities have only allowed a small gathering of 10 people during the festival season for unvaccinated. The limit has been set up to 25 people for large gatherings, but everyone must be vaccinated.
FFP2 masks are compulsory indoors, and nightclubs are closed until January 10.
The Austrian authorities will also make vaccination mandatory from February 2022. The UK is considered a hotspot region by authorities, and authorities have also made it compulsory for UK travellers to have two vaccines and test negative on a PCR test. Otherwise, they must self isolate upon arrival.
Covid passports and face masks are mandatory for all indoor venues. Non-French nationals from the UK must have a compelling reason to travel; Otherwise, tourism or business reasons will not apply. Additionally, vaccinated people must have a negative test result taken less than 24 hours ago.
Germany has announced social gatherings to be limited to ten people from December 28.
Nightclubs will also close, and football matches will be held without fans.
Other restrictions will remain, including entry to shops, bars, hotels, restaurants and theatres. Essential shops and pharmacies will remain open.
Public transport will remain accessible to only fully-vaccinated people or people with a negative PCR test.
Germany has also identified the UK as a hotspot of infections. German authorities have also barred non-Germans from entering into people, and any traveller from the UK must have a negative Covid test, regardless of their vaccine status.
Belgium authorities have asked travellers to get their Covid passports for entry into restaurants, bars and cafes and face masks are also mandatory in indoor venues.
The threshold for face masks and Covid passports for indoor gatherings is 50 people.