Covid-19 and holidays: Spain, Italy, Morocco… what is the health situation in the destinations popular with the French?

Covid-19 and holidays: Spain, Italy, Morocco... what is the health situation in the destinations popular with the French?

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France holds its breath as the summer vacation rolls by. The Covid is back and with it, the fear of seeing the restrictions return. If you plan to go abroad in the days or weeks to come, here is what you need to know about the health situations of the destinations most popular with the French.

Spain

On the other side of the Pyrenees, as in France, a new wave of contamination is hitting the country. While it is difficult to compare the number of daily cases compared to France – since in Spain the majority of the population tests themselves via tests purchased in pharmacies and therefore positive cases are not automatically recorded by the authorities – it remains relevant to observe the evolution of the contamination data. And in Spain, the number of new cases is jumping, as in France.

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In early June, just under 11,000 daily cases were recorded on average. This number exceeds 17,000 today, an increase of about 55% in the space of three weeks. Hence the maintenance of health measures a little more restrictive than in France, with the wearing of a mask compulsory in transport, pharmacies, or even residences for the elderly. Depending on the region, certain more restrictive measures could also be taken in the coming days, as in Catalonia, where we are talking about the return of the mask imposed on vulnerable people in closed places.

It should be noted, however, that in Spain, isolation is no longer mandatory for people who test positive for Covid, as long as they are asymptomatic, or with mild symptoms. Covid patients are even allowed to go to work, where they will simply have to be “cautious”, in particular by wearing a mask at all times and by reducing their social interactions as much as possible. However, this rule does not apply to professionals working in sensitive establishments, such as hospitals, nursing homes, health centers or even prisons, where employees must not go in the event of a positive test.

To go on vacation to Spain from France or any other country of the European Union, there are also no restrictive measures at present. No full vaccination schedule or other negative test is required.

Italy

In the “Boot”, the increase in the circulation of new strains of Covid-19 was described as “clear and consolidated” by the president of the Superior Council of Health, Franco Locatelli, who spoke this week. It must be said that the figures are cause for concern on the transalpine side: in barely a month, contamination has almost quadrupled.

This is enough to comfort the Italian executive in its desire to extend the wearing of the compulsory FFP2 mask in public transport (except in planes where it is “only” recommended), health structures and establishments for the elderly, until September 30. What also, no doubt, to make him renounce the lifting of a restriction which must take effect precisely this Friday, July 1, with the abandonment of the wearing of a mask at work, in the private sector. With the return of contamination, Italy could go back on this point immediately after having abandoned it, even though the country was one of the most intransigent in Europe, in particular in its desire to impose the vaccine on the population. As a reminder, the health pass had been extended there to the world of work for several months. The FFP2 mask could thus be imposed on employees working in direct contact with customers, he said to himself among the decision-makers.

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As for Spain, however, no vaccine pass or negative test is currently required to travel to Italian territory. It must be said that if Italy plans to maintain a high level of restrictions on its nationals, it is precisely to reduce viral circulation as much as possible in order to save its tourist season…

Morocco

Six months after the first wave of contamination linked to the Omicron variant, Morocco is currently going through a new zone of turbulence. Last week thus corresponded for the Maghreb country to “the seventh consecutive week of increase in new contaminations and the rate of positivity”, as recalled by the coordinator of the National Center for Public Health Emergency Operations of the Ministry of Health. Health, Dr. Mouad Merabet. According to the latter, the peak of contamination should therefore be reached, if not these days, by the end of next week.

The country therefore decided last week to extend the state of health emergency within its borders until July 31, when it was to end on Thursday June 30. A decision which implies the maintenance of the wearing of the compulsory mask throughout the country, without exception.

To get there from France, it is still required at present to present a complete vaccination schedule, or proof of not being infected with the virus, via a negative PCR test dating from less than 72 hours before the got on the plane. Either of these two proofs must be accompanied by a “duly completed” health form, to be downloaded online before boarding. If you forget, it is also distributed on board the aircraft.

Greece

At the low point of virus circulation, the number of daily cases in Greece was just over 3,600. That was in the fourth week of May. A full month later, the number of contaminations each day now stands at more than 12,500 (average over seven days). It is indisputable: on the shores of the Aegean Sea too, the Covid is making a strong comeback, and the next two to three weeks should continue to see the curves of new contaminations rise. According to some experts, the peak is expected at best in mid-July.

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Faced with this epidemic wave, the Greek government will certainly not revise its point of view on the compulsory wearing of the FFP2 mask both “in urban public transport” and in any other place or situation “where the rules of distancing cannot not apply”. Violating these rules is punishable by a fine of 300 euros.

On the other hand, as for Spain or Italy, tourists coming from France or from an EU member country as a general rule do not have to present a vaccination pass or a negative test to enter the territory. Greek. For now.

Portugal

Before all the others, it was from Portugal that the consequences of the new epidemic wave caused by the subvariants of Omicron – mainly BA.5 – could be observed. At the end of the Iberian Peninsula, it was around May 20 that the peak of contamination took place. Since then, the virus has been receding, logically. To the point that today, the French and Portuguese curves of the number of daily cases have just crossed.

ud83dudcc9ud83dudcc8 Symbolically, the curves of the number of daily cases (relative to the population) in Portugal, the first European country affected by a wave #Omicron BA.5, and in France, in the midst of a BA.5 wave, have just crossed paths. pic.twitter.com/XUJ2YqeKQC

— Nicolas Berrod (@nicolasberrod) June 30, 2022

But faced with this new wave, Portugal has naturally tightened the screws on its borders. It is thus one of the only two countries in the European Union – with Finland – to require a complete vaccination schedule (according to the framework of the European digital covid certificate, editor’s note) to enter its soil. Otherwise, a certificate of recovery or a negative test subject to a minimum period of validity (an antigen is valid for 24 hours and an RT-PCR for 72 hours) will be requested.

Once in Portugal, restrictions now revolve around mandatory mask-wearing, as with many other European countries. It has not been imposed indoors since mid-June, but remains compulsory in public transport, in hospitals or even retirement homes.

But also…

To United States, the circulation of the virus has not particularly increased in recent weeks, or in any case in proportions far from being comparable with what is observed in Europe. Thus, the country is rather in a logic of openness. As proof: since June 12, it is no longer mandatory to present a negative test less than 24 hours before boarding for the United States: a complete vaccination schedule is now sufficient. However, it is still strongly encouraged to be tested before departure and not to travel in the event of symptoms. In addition, the USA grants itself the right to frequently re-evaluate these conditions according to the evolution of the epidemic.

The health constraints are more or less the same for getting to the Canadawhere you must also accept the possibility of undergoing a random molecular test upon arrival on Canadian soil.

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Finally, with regard to UK, where the epidemic has started again, as in the rest of Europe (four times more daily cases in four weeks), the restrictions have not yet returned. As in France, the authorities are content for the moment with “recommendations”. It is therefore strongly advised “to maintain prudent behavior as much as necessary: ​​favor outdoor meetings, gather in smaller groups and for a shorter duration than what we would normally do, wear a mask in public transport, maintain as much as possible a distance of at least one meter in public space “… No proof of vaccination or absence of infection is also required to go to British soil.

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