Covid in Europe: Restrictions for France and Greece amid record case numbers

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Covid In Europe: Restrictions For France And Greece Amid Record Case Numbers Covid In Europe: Restrictions For France And Greece Amid Record Case Numbers
Meanwhile, daily cases reported in the United Kingdom dipped below the 100,000 mark. Photo: Getty Images
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Greece on Monday announced further restrictions to contain a further upsurge in Covid-19 infections fuelled by the Omicron variant, while new measures are set to be unveiled shortly in France.

French prime minister Jean Castex and health minister Olivier Veran will give details on the new measures to combat surging Covid-19 cases later this evening, after France registered a record daily high of more than 100,000 cases on Christmas Day.

In Greece, restrictions mainly targeting night-time entertainment venues will take force between January 3rd and 16th as newly confirmed cases surged to a record of 9,284 on Monday. 66 deaths were also reported.

Under the measures, high-protection masks will be compulsory at supermarkets, public transport and eating establishments.

Bars and restaurants will have to close at midnight and no standing customers at entertainment venues will be allowed. There will also be a maximum limit of six people per table.

Christmas and New Year banned

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Authorities had already tightened existing regulations last week, mandating mask wearing in open spaces and banning Christmas and New Year festivities.

"We are entering the (period of) prevalence of the Omicron variant in Greece," Greek health minister Thanos Plevris told a news conference.

"If we find that these measures are not complied with we will ban music (at entertainment venues)," he added.

The Greek government also moved to restrict attendance at sports events to 10 per cent of capacity or an upper limit of 1,000 people.

Visitors at care facilities for older people will be permitted if they can produce a negative PCR test taken within the previous 48 hours.

In the metropolitan Athens area, the government plans to ask private sector hospitals to assist the public health system, if necessary, to cope with hospitalisations.

UK cases dip

Meanwhile, daily cases reported in the United Kingdom dipped below the 100,000 mark, as the British government said it will not introduce new restrictions for England before the new year.

"There will be no further measures before the new year," British health minister Sajid Javid told reporters. "We won't be taking any further measures. Of course people should remain cautious as we approach New Year celebrations."

The UK reported 98,515 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday and 143 deaths within 28 days of a positive test result.

Data was also published for December 25th, showing 113,628 infections and December 26th, showing 108,893 infections.

This data did not include results from Northern Ireland and Scotland, and only partial results for Wales, due to differences in reporting practices over the Christmas period.

New infections peaked on December 24th at more than 122,000, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Indicators rise in Italy

Italy meanwhile reported 142 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday against 81 the day before, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 30,810 from 24,883.

Italy has registered 136,753 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the ninth-highest in the world. The country has reported 5.68 million cases to date.

Patients in hospital with Covid-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 9,723 on Monday, up from 9,220 a day earlier.

There were 100 new admissions to intensive care units, up from 85 on Sunday. The total number of intensive care patients increased to 1,126 from a previous 1,089.

Some 343,968 tests for Covid-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 217,052, the Italian health ministry said.

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