Madrid Desk, Dec 19 (EFE).- European countries are considering toughening coronavirus restrictions ahead of the holiday season due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, as the Netherlands went into lockdown on Sunday for at least three weeks.
In the United Kingdom, which Germany has joined France in restricting UK travelers after declaring it a risk zone, health secretary Sajid Javid refused to rule out more curbs.
“We are assessing the situation, it’s very fast-moving,” British health minister Sajid Javid told the BBC on Sunday. “We’ve seen with Omicron there’s a lot that we still don’t know.”
“That’s the truth of the matter. The reality is there’s a lot of uncertainty,” he added a day after the UK reported 90,418 new cases, nearly double the tally from a week ago.
The German government has listed the UK as a risk zone due to the variant, which has already been detected in Germany.
Only German citizens or residents will be allowed to enter the country after 14-day quarantine, even for vaccinated people.
In Spain, prime minister Pedro Sanchez warned of a “real risk” of a new wave of infections, calling for measures to be intensified ahead of Christmas.
Sanchez called an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday with the presidents of all of Spain’s autonomous regions, which are in charge of public health issues.
The Netherlands entered lockdown on Sunday until at least 14 January that will see all non-essential activites and educational institutions shut down. EFE