What Covid restrictions are in place across Europe this Christmas?

What Covid Restrictions Are In Place Across Europe This Christmas? What Covid Restrictions Are In Place Across Europe This Christmas?
A Santa in a coronavirus-safe plastic bubble in Aalborg, Denmark. Photo by Henning Bagger/AFP via Getty Images
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Governments across Europe are trying to navigate between avoiding spreading the coronavirus over the Christmas holiday season and allowing people to celebrate with family and friends.

Here in Ireland, three households will be allowed to meet between December 18th and January 6th, and the nationwide travel ban will be lifted for that period.

It contrasts with some measures that will be adopted for year-end festivities by other European countries.


Germany will close beauty salons and most stores, leaving only essential shops open, from December 16th until at least January 10th, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on December 13th. Private gatherings will remain limited to no more than five people from two households, with rules to be eased over the Christmas holidays when up to 10 people will be allowed to gather, not counting children.



Restaurants, museums, cinemas and other cultural institutions will be closed in 69 of 98 municipalities, including Copenhagen, until January 3rd, affecting almost 80% of the national population.


Netherlands is expected to impose tougher coronavirus restrictions before Christmas with schools and shops to be closed for a month, according to Dutch Media. Previously, the government extended on Dec. 8 the limit of three adult visitors per household by one month until January 15th. Restaurants and bars will remain closed.


Italians will not be able to attend a midnight mass on Christmas Eve and will be only allowed to move between regions in emergencies over the holiday period starting on December 20th. Swiss-Italian train routes were halted from Dec. 10 as the requirements for travel exceed the capacity of train personnel.

Pope Francis's Christmas Eve Mass will start two hours earlier, allowing the limited number of people who can attend to be home by 10 pm.

People wearing a face mask walk about Piazza del Popolo in central Rome. Photo: AFP via Getty Images


Hair salons and bookstores will reopen during Christmas, other restrictions continuing until January 7th, with a curfew in place from 9 pm to 5 am and restrictions on movement between regions until next month, the government said on December 7th.

It added that churches would open for the Christmas and Epiphany masses on December 25th and January 6th, with a limited number of worshippers.



France will lift its stay-at-home order on December 15th and replace it with a nightly curfew, which will be waived for Christmas Eve.


Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on December 7th there would be no New Year's Eve celebrations. The country will maintain restrictions, including a 7 pm curfew, until at least January 11th.


There will be no limit on how many people will be able to gather per household for Christmas. The night-time curfew will be pushed back from 11 pm to 2 am on December 24th and December 25th. For New Year's Eve, street parties will be banned and outdoor gatherings limited to a maximum of six people.


Up to 10 people per household will be allowed to gather for Christmas and New Year, relaxing the current rule that permits gatherings of up to six people. Curfews will be pushed back to 1:30 am from 11 p.m. on December 24th and December 31st. Movement between regions will be banned between December 23rd and January 6th, except for visits to family.


Norwegians will be able to invite up to 10 guests into their homes on two separate occasions between Christmas and New Year. Outside those days, the current limit of up to five guests in one home will apply.


Skiing will be allowed from December 24th, but there will be no Christmas markets this holiday season.


Belgian households will only be able to be in close contact with one extra person over Christmas. People living on their own will be able to meet two others. Fireworks will be banned on New Year's Eve to limit gatherings and foreign travel is strongly discouraged.


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Up to three households will be allowed to meet at home from December 23rd until December 27th. People will be able to meet in places of worship and in outdoor public places but not at indoor hospitality or entertainment venues. Shops will be allowed to stay open for longer over Christmas and in January.


The Czech government starting December 18th will launch free, voluntary testing for all citizens using rapid-result antigen tests to make family visits over Christmas safer.

(Compiled by Reuters)

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