Several EU countries lift coronavirus restrictions despite increase in cases

Madrid Desk, Feb 2 (EFE).- Several European countries are lifting coronavirus restrictions despite rising case numbers fueled by an Omicron-driven wave of Covid-19 infections.

France is reporting an average of over 300,000 daily infections, but on Wednesday began lifting restrictions including the use of face masks outdoors.

French president Emmanuel Macron said the easing of restrictions comes after a drop in the incidence rate in recent days.

In addition to face masks outdoors no longer being mandatory, the ‘work from home’ guidance has been dropped and capacity in stadiums and public venues are no longer capped.

Similarly, Norway scrapped most of its restrictions on Wednesday after the prime minister announced the virus no longer posed a risk to health services.

Working from home is no longer mandatory, restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol beyond 11 pm and social gatherings are no longer limited to 10 people.

Meanwhile, Germany is considering easing restrictions in March if the wave of infections, which is breaking daily records, has slowed down by then.

Germany reported 208,498 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, an all-time high since the start of the pandemic, according to the Robert Koch Institute.

While countries like France, Norway and Denmark, which on Tuesday became the first country in Europe to scrap all coronavirus restrictions, are easing public health measures, others are tightening the rules for the unvaccinated population.

Italy on Tuesday introduced a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for over 50s while Austria has introduced the mandate for all over the age of 18.

The unvaccinated will be fined in both countries.

Germany is still debating whether to introduce a vaccine mandate as the government announced it was set to miss a target of 80% of the population having received at least one dose by the end of January. EFE


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