Germany returns to the harshest confinement in a Europe that wants to be softer

Germany closes

Although the decorations are already on, Christmas will not be normal this year in Germany. The country will enter a rigorous lockdown in the coming weeks, as the number of deaths and infections from the coronavirus reaches record levels. Germany is the only major country in Europe in which the number of people dying from Covid-19 it has been increasing progressively since November.

“We will close the stores as of Wednesday, December 16 and will keep them open only to buy food and other basic products of daily use. Care will also be taken not to sell non-food products at retail and the sale of fireworks will be prohibited before New Years Eve “, has announced the German Chancellor Angela Merkel

The central government and the federal states agreed to this step in an emergency videoconference to avoid the collapse of the health system, following the calls of experts and after the cascade of regional measures that have been adopted in recent days. Germany registered 20,200 new infections by covid-19 and 321 deaths this Sunday, according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the leading epidemiological center.

Italy eases restrictions

Conversely, Italy has relaxed some of its restrictions Although it is the European nation with the highest number of deaths from coronavirus. They have removed the “red” areas.

In the yellow zones the bars and restaurants now open until 6 in the afternoon. Some have taken advantage of the reopening.

“I couldn’t wait. This morning when I woke up, I said: first I’m going to go back to my trusted bar and, finally, I’m going to have breakfast sitting at the bar; so I’m very happy”, points a client. “Obviously all of us have missed all of this”, says another customer

Italy registered 484 deaths this Sunday to reach the figure of 64,520 victims of coronavirus, which this weekend has surpassed the United Kingdom as the European country that has registered the most deaths in the pandemic. Italy has become the fifth country in the world in the number of deaths from covid, surpassing the United Kingdom, which this Sunday registered 144 more deaths, to a total of 64,170. This threshold was already exceeded on Saturday, when Italy reached a total of 64,036 deaths compared to 64,025 in the United Kingdom.

Portugal and Russia soften measures

Christmas this year in Portugal It will also be different, but contrary to what some expected, most Portuguese still go to the shops before the holidays.

Lockdown measures have been reduced in several areas of Lisbon, but authorities are appealing to the public to avoid busy shopping hours.

In Russia there is good news for drinkers … there will be no curfew or limit on the sale of alcohol imposed in Moscow during the New Year’s party, despite the increase in Covid infections in the Russian capital.