Some European countries have lifted COVID-19 measures completely, while only basic measures such as mask requirement in public transport remained in others.
Since the beginning of 2020, when the pandemic started, many people have been hospitalized in many European countries, and many died in a short time.
European countries took serious measures, including curfews, mask requirements, remote work, and closing of stores, except those selling basic products.
Last year, vaccination efforts continued apace throughout Europe and measures began to relax gradually.
The course of the pandemic also began to change, as virus variants reduced the impact of the disease. Many countries have relaxed measures, with fewer hospitalizations and deaths.
UK returns to pre-pandemic era
COVID-19 measures such as quarantine, mask obligation, and travel restrictions have been removed in the UK.
All restrictions, including the requirement for unvaccinated passengers to have a negative test result, were lifted on March 18.
The country, which returned to the pre-pandemic period, reported some 20,000 daily cases and over 150 fatalities. Some 92% of the population got their first doses, and 86% received their second.
Measures over in Netherlands
The Dutch government lifted all pandemic measures as of March 23, saying the virus no longer poses a major threat. The mask rule, including public transport and planes, has been removed.
For EU citizens traveling to the Netherlands from and outside the EU countries, the requirement to present a negative test result, recovery, or vaccination certificate has ended.
The number of daily cases during the last week was recorded at around 3,500 and fatalities at 10.
France also removes most measures
As of March 14, mask requirement and COVID-19 vaccination card application in closed areas outside public transport and health centers were lifted in France.
No measures are applied in the country, except for the mask requirement in public vehicles and health centers.
According to official data, the average number of cases per day is around 90,000.
Belgium lifts certificate system
At the beginning of March, Belgium removed the obligation to wear masks, except for public vehicles such as buses and trains, and health institutions.
The certificate system used to enter closed areas has also been removed. The average number of new single-day cases has recently stood around 7,400, with daily fatalities at 23.
Few measures left in Germany
COVID-19 measures in Germany were relaxed in March. Mask obligation has been lifted, except for facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and public vehicles. There is no spectator restriction in cinema, theater, and league matches.
In the last 24 hours, the country reported 324 deaths and 186,325 cases. The total number of cases to date has increased to over 23.8 million.
Spain treats COVID-19 as ‘flu’
With the partial removal of the mask obligation in closed areas as of April 20, the process of easing the measures has been largely completed in Spain.
In the country, the obligation to use masks in all closed areas except hospitals, pharmacies, public transportation, and elderly care homes has ended.
The Spanish government, treating COVID-19 as the flu, also lifted the quarantines in February.
The country vaccinated 92% of the population over the age of 12.
Italy discusses continuing of wearing masks
Italy was the first and most seriously affected country in Europe. The measures were softened on April 1, although the number of cases remained high.
Until the end of April, the “green pass” certificate will remain for cinemas, theaters, nightclubs, planes, train, bus, and ferry journeys, gyms and indoor swimming pools, and stadiums that can serve at full capacity.
Mask obligation in public transport and closed areas will continue until April 30.
Austria lifts most measures
In Austria, except for public transportation, hospitals, and markets where daily needs are met, masks are no longer required in closed areas.
Mask requirements in schools will also be completely removed as of April 25.
– Greece to relax measures on May 1
The obligation to show the COVID pass certificate, applied in closed places, cafes, and restaurants in Greece, will be lifted as of May 1.
Mask requirements indoors will continue until May 31. The situation will be observed until Sept. 1 and reassessed to decide whether the restrictions will be brought back.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar in Ankara
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