Netherlands, Portugal set new measures amid Covid surge

Madrid Desk, Jul 9 (EFE).- Governments across Europe are scrambling to react to the alarming spread of new coronavirus infections throughout the continent.


The Dutch government is due to announce that it will reinstate some Covid-19 restrictions it lifted barely two weeks ago, after recording 5,500 infections in the past 24 hours as the Delta variant continues to gain ground.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge will hold a press conference on Friday to announce that nightclubs will be closed again, after their first reopening since the pandemic began, on June 26, which caused several outbreaks across the country.

Daily figures have soared from 700-800 daily infections last week, to 5,475 on Thursday, up 1,815 cases from the previous day.

The sharp rise in infections comes roughly two weeks after lockdown measures were lifted, ending the obligation to wear a face mask indoors and allowing the hospitality sector to operate at full capacity.

Dutch authorities have shown concern over the potential repercussions of the growing infections on tourism, which could encourage other EU member states to restrict or ban entry of Dutch visitors during the summer season.


Portugal on Friday began requiring all hotel guests in the country to provide a negative coronavirus test or a vaccine certificate, documents which will also be required in restaurants at the weekend in parts of the country with an incidence of more than 120 cases per 100,000 people.

The measure comes as the fourth wave has worsened in Portugal over the last week. Cases have shot up an average of 54% each day, according to Portuguese Minister of State, Mariana Vieira da Silva.

Meanwhile, a curfew between 11 pm and 5 am imposed across the country last week will remain in force throughout this week, the Portuguese government said Thursday.

In the 60 most affected regions of the country, including Lisbon and Porto, remote working will again be compulsory and cultural shows will close at 10:30 pm.

Cafes and restaurants will close at that time throughout the country while attendance at weddings and baptisms will be limited to a maximum of 25% capacity.


The German government on Friday added the whole of Spain to its list of risk regions in the wake of a spike in infections in the Mediterranean country in the past weeks.

The decision has no direct repercussions for Germans currently on vacation in Spain or planning to travel ihere in the coming days, but it is a wake-up call for the Spanish tourism sector, which had been hoping for a healthy summer season after last year’s losses.

Those flying from Spain to Germany will have to present a negative test or proof of full vaccination upon landing.

From midnight on Sunday, the Balearic and Canary Islands, the two most popular destinations in Spain for German holidaymakers, will be added to the regions considered at-risk.

German authorities consider a region to be a risk if it has a cumulative seven-day incidence of more than 50 cases per 100,000 people.

Currently, according to German government data, the average cumulative incidence in the last seven days in Spain is 179 new positives per 100,000 inhabitants, while the Spanish Ministry of Health said Thursday that the 14-day cumulative incidence in the country has soared to 277.90 cases. EFE

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