Coronavirus: How countries in Europe are taking different measures to try to curb pandemic

There are a range of restrictions across Europe as different countries grapple with COVID-19 more than six months into the pandemic on the continent.

Some nations, such as Sweden, never implemented a strict lockdown in the first place.

Countries like Switzerland are in the process of reopening, while France, Belgium and the Czech Republic have been showing worrying rises in coronavirus cases and starting to move back towards restrictive measures.

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In Austria, masks are mandatory at indoor public areas, as well at outdoor markets. In some parts of the country, like Leipzig, restaurants and bars have to close at 10pm.

Belgium has seen some of the most severe restrictions imposed recently. All bars in the capital of Brussels will be closed for a month. Social bubbles have been limited to four. Elsewhere in the country, hospitality venues will have to close at 11pm and bubbles are limited to 10.

In the Czech Republic, a state of emergency has been declared following a sharp rise in infections. The opening hours of bars and restaurants have been limited from 6am to 10pm, and musical performances are banned. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, and outdoor groupings to 20.

Less severe restrictions are being introduced in Denmark. Gatherings have been limited to 50 people, and the number of attendees at sports games has been capped at 500. The hospitality sector has to close at 10pm.

Estonia is still only making recommendations that people wear masks and socially distance.

Finland has told licence-holding premises that they must stop serving at midnight and close at 1am. In badly-hit areas, drinking must stop at 10pm.

Paris, the capital of France, has seen tight measures imposed. All bars, indoor sports venues and gyms have to shut. Similar measures are in place in other severely-affected areas like Marseille. Restaurants can stay open as long as they abide by strict health regulations.

In Germany, the state of Bavaria has seen an 11pm curfew put in place for bars. The number of people allowed to meet indoors has been reduced to 25, and 50 outside. Mask wearing is also mandatory in any busy area – inside or out – in the state. This compares to the nationwide rule of masks being compulsory in shops.

Greece has a varied approach, with many different rules depending on the situation in each area. Different islands have found themselves subject to restrictions at various times.

Iceland has closed bars, nightclubs and gyms following a rise in cases. The number of people allowed to meet up has been cut from 200 to 20 – with exemptions for the likes of schools, colleges, funerals, parliament and courts.

In the Republic of Ireland, each of the counties is assigned a different level of risk. The whole country has been put on risk level three, meaning that indoor dining and drinking in restaurants, pubs and bars is banned. Only takeaways and outdoor dining/service is allowed. In Dublin, wet pubs – which do not serve food – remain closed.

Italy has made masks mandatory while outside nationally. The measure was already in place in some regions, like the Lazio area around the capital Rome.

The Netherlands has some of the more lax regulations, with masks only recommended for indoor use. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on making face coverings compulsory: “Why would we need to force people? What kind of childish nation would that make us? We’ll look at it if we have to, but I’d regret it.”

In Norway, a ban on alcohol being served after midnight is set to be lifted on 12 October. Restrictions on playing sports are also expected to be eased, and the number of people allowed to gather will be raised to 600.

Poland has ruled that people need a medical certificate in order to not wear a mask. A ban has also been placed on using certain venues for dancing. A spokesman for the health ministry added that more restrictions could soon be enforced in the capital Warsaw.

Portugal has limited gatherings to 10 people, and alcohol sales must stop at 8pm. Sports venues have also been closed.

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, has closed its theatres, cinemas, indoor restaurants, bars and gaming halls.

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Russia’s capital Moscow has sent all pupils home for an “unplanned holiday”.

Slovakia has been placed into a state of emergency, with most public events cancelled. There is also a curfew of 10pm for bars, and mask restrictions have been tightened.

Madrid, the capital of Spain, has been put under a travel lockdown, along with surrounding areas. Local politicians are seeking to challenge the national government over the measures.

Sweden never went into a full lockdown this year. The government has said a regional approach may be taken should there be outbreaks in the coming months.

Switzerland is continuing to open up, with an announcement that events will soon be allowing spectators again.

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