What are the Christmas coronavirus rules in other European countries?

Some European countries are tightening restrictions over the coming weeks – while others are relaxing them for Christmas.
In many nations, coronavirus cases are rising again after dipping at the end of November.

These are the COVID-19 restrictions and Christmas rules around the continent:

The Netherlands
A second lockdown starts on Tuesday for at least five weeks.

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Dutch households will not be allowed to have more than two visitors over the age of 13, and all public places, including hairdressers and day care centres, will close until 19 January.

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Schools will close until 18 January and people have been advised to stay at home, not travel to work and avoid contact with others as much as possible.
From 24 until 26 December, households will be allowed three visitors.

Image: People got in their Christmas shopping in Eindhoven ahead of new restrictions in the Netherlands
Sweden
Sweden has resisted any national lockdowns, but instead introduced its toughest restrictions yet on Friday.
From 18 December, all non-essential public workplaces, gyms, swimming pools and libraries will close and reopen on 24 January.
Masks will also have to be worn during peak hours on public transport.
Only four people can meet inside a restaurant, but schools have been told to remain open – aside from the Christmas break – until at least 24 January.
Switzerland
From 22 December, all restaurants, bars, cultural venues and sports facilities will close for a month.
Hotels are allowed to remain open and takeaway food outlets can continue to operate.
But shops will have to close at 7pm and not open at all on Sundays.
Switzerland’s 26 cantons – states – will be able to decide if they open ski resorts or not.
Up to five people from two different households can gather indoors between 24 and 26 December and on 31 December for New Year.
Belgium
Belgian households will only allowed to “be in close contact” with one extra person from outside their household over Christmas.
People living on their own will be able to meet with two others.
Fireworks are banned on New Year’s Eve and foreign travel is being strongly discouraged.
Czech Republic
Restaurants, hotels and indoor sports venues, which reopened barely two weeks before, will close again from Friday.
Public gatherings will be limited to six people indoors and out, instead of the current 10 indoors and 50 outdoors, with a nationwide curfew from 11pm to 5am.
Schools will also close early for Christmas, although shops will remain open.
Germany
A hard lockdown in Germany begins on Wednesday, with schools and non-essential shops to be closed throughout Christmas and the new year.
Germany has been under a light lockdown since the beginning of November, with bars, restaurants and tourist attractions closed, but shopping and education allowed.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has blamed Christmas shopping for a “considerable” rise in social contacts.
The new restrictions will last until 10 January but will be relaxed slightly from 24 to 26 December, with a 10-person limit – but Ms Merkel recommended a week of self-isolation before.
Drinking will be banned in public and firework sales will be prohibited before New Year’s Eve, while religious gatherings will be allowed but only if people remain 1.5m apart and do not sing.

Image: Dresden went into a hard lockdown ahead of the rest of Germany
France
A six-week ban on movement was lifted on Tuesday but President Emmanuel Macron imposed an 8pm-6am curfew until mid-January, apart from Christmas Eve, as France suffered Europe’s highest number of cases.
Museums, theatres and cinemas will be closed until January at least, as will restaurants, bars and cafes.
A maximum of six adults and any number of children are allowed in homes.
French ski resorts will remain closed and be allowed to reopen in January “under favourable conditions”.
Spain
From 23 December to 6 January travel between Spain’s regions will be allowed, but only to visit friends and family.
Social gatherings on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day will be limited to 10 people – including children.

Image: Ski resorts in Spain have reopened ahead of Christmas
Curfews, which currently range from 10pm to midnight depending on the region, will be pushed back to 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Regional governments will have the power to toughen these rules, while some will have to open their borders after having closed them.
The Canary and Balearic Islands will allow free movement.
Italy
Italians will be banned from travelling anywhere between 24 and 27 December, 31 December and 3 January, and 5 to 6 January.
Non-essential shops will be closed during that time, with all bars and restaurants closed from 21 December until 6 January.
Shops will be allowed to open between 28 and 30 December and on 4 January, when people will also be free to leave their homes.
Churches will remain open, but the traditional midnight mass will not take place this year.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Italians to expect a “more sober Christmas, without Christmas Eve gatherings, hugs and kisses”.
Rome is expected to impose a “red zone” lockdown from Christmas Eve until at least 2 January, with night curfews extended, bans on non-essential movement and non-essential shops to close.
Italy is experiencing its highest number of deaths since the end of March, bringing its total to 65,000.

Image: The streets of Bologna were packed ahead of a ban on travelling between Italy’s regions
Austria
Austria will go into its third lockdown of the pandemic on Christmas Eve, which will last until 24 January.
Ten people from a maximum of 10 different households can gather on Christmas Day.
Shops, restaurants, museums and schools will be allowed to reopen on 18 January after a mass-testing period between 15 and 17 January, with those who test negative able to come out of lockdown sooner.
Those who are not tested will have to wait until 24 January.
Ski resorts will open on 24 December, but hotels will remain closed. Face masks will be required on ski lifts, the government said.

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Hancock defends easing UK restrictions over Christmas

Portugal
Rules will be eased over the Christmas season to allow people to visit their friends and family but measures will be reimposed ahead of New Year’s Eve.
A 10-person gathering limit will be lifted entirely for Christmas and the curfew will be pushed from 11pm to 2am on 24 and 25 December.
But on 31 December the curfew will go back to 11pm and people will be banned from leaving their homes between 1pm and 5am from January 1 to January 3.
Croatia
Croatia is closing its borders between 23 December and 8 January.
No more than 10 people from two different households are allowed to gather indoors for the festive season.
Poland
Schools, restaurants, sports centres, hotels, ski slopes and shopping centres in Poland will be closed from 28 December to 17 January.
People returning to the country during that time will have to quarantine for 10 days.
There will be a curfew from 7pm to 6am on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Denmark
Denmark went into a near-full lockdown on 17 December, with the closure of shopping centres, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Other retail businesses, with the exception of supermarkets and pharmacies will be closed from 25 December to 3 January.
A maximum of 10 people can meet socially indoors.

Source : Sky News