What's happening with lockdown across Europe?

Ross McGuinness
·5 min read
Staff of a coffe-restaurant, brings coffees for customers, in Piazza della Rotonda at the Pantheon, in central Rome, on March 15, 2021, as three-quarters of Italians entered a strict lockdown as the government put in place restrictive measures to fight the rise of COVID-19 infections. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
A member of staff at a cafe in Rome on Monday as much of Italy returned to lockdown. (AFP via Getty Images)

Italy went back into lockdown on Monday as Europe battles a third wave of coronavirus infections.

It is one of the European countries that has been worst hit by coronavirus, with more than 100,000 deaths, a figure second only to the UK.

Italy's lockdown comes as a number of countries suspend the rollouts of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine over fears the jab is linked to blood clots.

Yahoo News UK looks at lockdown measures across parts of Europe.

GERMANY

At the start of this month, Angela Merkel announced plans to extend lockdown until 28 March at the earliest while, crucially, easing some restrictions at the same time. 

As a result, some schools as well as businesses such as florists and hairdressers have been allowed to reopen. It was also announced that regions with low infection rates could unlock more quickly. 

However, since then, infections have climbed with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases now warning that the number of daily reported cases could exceed 30,000 in the 14th week of the year starting April 12.  

The death toll from the virus in Germany stands at 73,301, with a reported 2,558,455 infections.

Frustration about the ongoing lockdown and the slow pace of vaccinations has also been denting support for Chancellor Angela Merkel. Leaders are due to meet again on March 22 to discuss whether any further relaxation of the rules is possible.

PORTUGAL

At the other end of the scale, Portugal has slowly emerged from a two-month lockdown that saw it, at one point, have the highest death rate on the continent.

From today, nurseries, pre-schools and primary schools will reopen, as well as hair salons and book shops. Restaurants will only be allowed to open their doors in May.

The measures to ease the lockdown will be revaluated every 15 days,

ITALY

Watch: Italy lockdown leaves Venice deserted

Infections in Italy increased by 10% last week, leading the country back into lockdown from Monday.

Schools and shops are closed in more than half of the country, including Rome and Milan, while there will be a national shutdown over Easter from 3 to 5 April.

Prime minister Mario Draghi announced on Friday that Italy would return to lockdown, meaning people must stay at home except for work, health or essential reasons.

Coronavirus cases have been rising for the past six weeks, reaching more than 25,000 a day.

Seven of the country’s 20 regions have been moved to its most severe tier of restrictions – red – including Lombardy and Lazio comprising Milan and Rome.

CZECH REPUBLIC

According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 1.4 million coronavirus cases and more than 23,300 deaths in the Czech Republic.

Last month, prime minister Andrej Babis warned of "hellish days ahead".

At the beginning of this month, its government announced a three-week lockdown until 21 March.

Residents have been told to remain at home except for essential travel and are banned from moving between districts, apart from for work.

The only shops that can open are supermarkets, pharmacies, opticians and florists.

The restrictions follow a state of emergency that has been declared for 30 days between 27 February and 28 March.

FRANCE

At the beginning of this month, French president Emmanuel Macron said a current nationwide curfew would remain in place for another four to six weeks.

Under the restriction, people in France must stay at home from 6pm to 6am.

An 8pm curfew was brought in across the country on 15 December but was brought forward to 6pm a month later. An end date for the measure has not yet been set.

A man wearing a protective face mask walks past famous Cafe de Flore closed along with all cafes and restaurants to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris on March 15, 2021. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
A man wearing a face mask walks past a cafe in Paris on Monday. (AFP via Getty Images)

On Sunday, France reported more than 26,000 new daily cases of coronavirus, while the country has had more than 90,000 deaths.

Prime minister Jean Castex said on Sunday the country must do everything it can to avoid another nationwide lockdown.

GREECE

On Friday, the government announced that all schools would close nationwide.

It also placed three more regions in Greece in its top red tier for COVID-19 restrictions.

Greece has a current average of about 2,100 new daily cases of coronavirus.

A lockdown in Athens has been extended until 22 March.

Non-essential shops are also closed and curfews have been in force in Athens and other red zones since February.

Greece has had more than 221,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 7,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

However, it has already started inviting Britons to book their summer holidays there.

SPAIN

A six-month state of alarm is currently in place and is set to run until 9 May.

It allows Spain’s regional governments to introduce their own restrictions, including curfews.

However, Spain’s health minister Carolina Darias said last Friday that the state of alarm could be extended.

The state of alarm imposed a nationwide curfew between 11pm and 6am, although regions can alter these times by one hour.

Last week, Spain announced strict measures on travelling between regions over the Easter period from 26 March to 9 April.

Watch: More European nations suspend use of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine