How Covid-19 restrictions vary across Europe and the United States

Luke Powell, PA
·4-min read

While Covid-19 restrictions continue to be eased in the UK, other countries are having to introduce tougher measures to curb rising infections.

The French government announced that new lockdown restrictions would be imposed on Paris from midnight on Friday due to an increase in cases.

Meanwhile, other countries have opted for curfews in a bid to reduce the rate of transmission.

Here is what we know about how some European countries and the US are coping with the pandemic:

– France

Some 35,000 new cases were reported nationwide in France on Thursday.

Brexit
The Eiffel Tower in Paris (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The numbers have steadily increased in recent weeks, and around 250 people are dying with Covid-19 each day.

New lockdown measures for Paris and several other regions will see non-essential shops close and restrictions on travel.

Its nationwide curfew from 6pm to 6am – which has been in place for two months – will now begin an hour later.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said France was facing a “third wave” of the pandemic, adding the new measures will last for four weeks.

There have been 4,111,105 confirmed Covid-19 cases in France so far and 90,893 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

– Italy

A nationwide nightly curfew remains in place preventing people from leaving home except for work, emergency or health reasons.

The country is divided into red, orange, yellow and white zones, depending on local infection rates.

In areas designated “red zones” – where the toughest measures are applied – non-essential shops are closed, while restaurants and cafes can only serve takeaway or delivery.

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The Colosseum in Rome (Steven Paston/PA)

Around 80% of schoolchildren nationwide have been stopped from attending classes in person.

From March 15, all regions with the exception of Sardegna were designated orange or red zones.

There have been more than 3.2 million cases of coronavirus in Italy since the start of the pandemic, with 103,855 deaths.

– Germany

Restrictions are slowly being eased across Germany, with bars, pubs and restaurants allowed to resume outdoor service from March 22 in areas with low case numbers.

Hair salons reopened on March 1, while some museums and galleries welcomed back visitors on March 8.

Nato Leaders Meeting
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA)

Some non-essential retail has also returned ahead of a wider reopening on March 28.

Unlike the UK, people are not allowed to wear cloth face coverings in shops or on public transport. Instead they must use either disposable surgical masks or filtering face piece respirator masks such as the FFP2.

There have been 2,629,750 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 74,358 deaths, the WHO said.

– Spain

An overnight nationwide curfew is expected to remain in place across Spain until early May.

However, restrictions vary in each of the country’s 17 regions.

Coronavirus – Fri Nov 27, 2020
Coronavirus restrictions vary across the world (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

In Catalonia – the region that is home to Barcelona – restaurants, cafes and bars can only stay open until 5pm, while shopping centres reopened on March 1.

But in Madrid, bars and restaurants are allowed to accept customers until 10pm. Venue capacity is also limited to 50% indoors and 75% outdoors.

There have been 3,206,116 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Spain and 72,793 deaths.

– Greece

Strict lockdown measures were imposed on Greece in November before primary schools and shops were allowed to reopen in January.

But curfews have returned to areas with high infection rates – including the city of Athens – along with the closure of non-essential services and schools.

In Athens and the surrounding region of Attica, a curfew is in place from 9pm to 5am on weekdays and from 7pm to 5am on weekends.

Opening hours for shops that have remained open, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, are also limited throughout the week.

Similar measures are in place for Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki, although schools are allowed to remain open.

Curfews from 7pm to 5am are in place across several other regions, with schools closed and religious services forbidden.

Face masks and coverings are mandatory in all public places, both indoors and outdoors.

– United States of America

Covid-19 restrictions vary from state to state across America.

In Texas, residents no longer need to wear face coverings or masks after the requirement was lifted in March by Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

Businesses in the state’s counties without a high number of Covid-19 patients in hospital have also been allowed to reopen at full capacity.

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US president Joe Biden (Niall Carson/PA)

In New York, everyone over the age of two is required to wear a face-covering in public if they are unable to maintain at least six feet distance from others.

The rule also applies to those shopping in stores and using public transport.

Restaurants and bars are allowed to accept customers inside, but can only operate at 35% capacity and must close from 11pm to 5am.

There have been 29,317,562 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US, with 532,971 deaths.