Europe is currently experiencing an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. If the health pass has almost disappeared among our neighbors, wearing a mask is still compulsory in many places.
The arrival of summer rhymes again this year in Europe with an increase in Covid-19 cases, carried by new sub-variants of Omicron, which raises calls for vigilance. Many European countries have indeed been confronted for a few weeks with a new acceleration of contamination, a situation which leads to the maintenance of the restrictions in place, and could lead to the return of certain health measures.
The ECDC (European Center for Diseases) has called on European countries to “remain vigilant”, by maintaining testing and surveillance systems, and by vaccinating the most fragile.
“It is important to continue to monitor the severity and burden of disease, especially in older people,” says the organization. in a weekly point.
• In Portugal, the mandatory mask in transport
The first affected, Portugal experienced a marked increase in new cases in May, which peaked in early June at nearly 30,000 contagions per day. The wave has since started to recedebut sanitary measures remain in place to avoid contamination.
Travelers entering Portugal must therefore present a vaccination certificate – as part of the European digital covid certificate – or a certificate of negative test (antigen test valid for 24 hours or RT-PCR test valid for 72 hours) or even a certificate of recovery of Covid-19 (valid between 11 and 180 days after the first positive test).
On the spot, the resolutions taken by the government on April 21 lifted “a number of obligations, in particular the wearing of masks in closed spaces”, writes the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Wearing a mask remains compulsory, however, “in places where the people who frequent them are particularly vulnerable” such as health services, or “in places characterized by intensive use”, such as public transport and taxis. And the Portuguese authorities launched a “safe summer” campaignto encourage people to wear a sanitary mask in risky situations.
• Italy on the rise in the number of cases
Also affected, Italy recorded around 50,000 new cases each day last week, compared to 30,000 the previous week, according to data from the Ministry of Health. “Despite the summer period during which many activities take place outdoors, there is a generalized worsening of the epidemic risk”, writes the ministry in a point of June 22. In this sense, several health protection measures are maintained in the country.
Italy thus decided in mid-June to extend the obligation to wear FFP2 masks on public transport (except on planes) until September 30. The mask – FFP2 or surgical – is also compulsory “in health establishments, accommodation establishments for the elderly, hospitals and health structures”, specifies France Diplomacy.
However, “as of June 1, 2022, the health pass is no longer required to enter Italian territory. The Italian authorities therefore no longer require proof of vaccination, cure or test”, writes the French Embassy in Italy.
• Wearing a mask is compulsory in certain places in Spain
The number of Covid-19 cases in Spain has also increased in recent days. June 22, 2022the number of new positive cases in the country was 68,186, compared to 48,272 June 16, 2022. Faced with this increase, some regions are considering reinstating health measures.
Currently, “the entire Spanish territory is subject to the rules of the ‘new normal’, which provide in particular: the wearing of a mask is compulsory for anyone over the age of 6 in health establishments, including pharmacies, in residences for the elderly as well as in all public transport” and “respect for barrier gestures”, explains the French Embassy in Spain.
But others could be added in some regions. In Catalonia, faced with the increase in cases, the Minister of Health thus “asked that the elderly and vulnerable find the use of the mask in closed or poorly ventilated places”, notes the newspaper. La Vanguardia.
In any case, the Spanish health authorities are calling on the population to “party healthy” this summer by getting vaccinated, if this is not already the case.
It should be noted, however, that for people from the European Union – or Schengen associated countries – there are no longer travel restrictions to Spain by land, air or sea. However, some cross-border crossing points remain closed to traffic, recalls France Diplomacy.
• Different restrictions according to German regions
Germany is also experiencing a new wave of contamination. “The number of transmitted infections increased by around 75,000 cases last week compared to the previous week,” the Robert Koch Institute wrote on Twitter on June 23. The German president of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, last week advocated the rapid adoption of a “toolbox” with masks, vaccinations and contact restrictions, to slow the spread of the virus.
The west of the country remains for the moment the area most affected by contamination, and with the federal system in place in Germany, each region has its own rules.
“It is necessary to respect the physical distance measures and the local obligations of wearing a mask (FFP2 or surgical) in particular in public transport, nursing homes and hospitals”, so writes the French Embassy in Germany. “It is recommended to check with the Land of the place of stay the provisions made in terms of health regulations.”
Since June 1, however, it has been possible to enter Germany without proof of vaccination, cure or negative test. “This new regulation is applicable until August 31, 2022”, explains France Diplomacyadding that “travellers remain subject to the obligation to report to the German health authorities of the place of stay any appearance of symptoms linked to Covid-19 during the 10 days after entering German territory, even in the event of a test negative or fully vaccinated.”
• In the United Kingdom, wearing a mask not compulsory but “highly recommended”
In the UK, daily infections are on the rise again. The number of people who tested positive is up 33% over the last seven days in England and above all, the number of hospitalizations is risingaccording to data from health authorities.
Consequently, the English government “recommends maintaining prudent behavior as much as necessary: favoring outdoor meetings, gathering in smaller groups and for a shorter duration than what one would normally do, wearing a mask in public transport common, maintain as much as possible a distance of at least one meter in public space”, explains France Diplomacy.
In North Irelandin Scotlandand at Wales also, if wearing a mask is no longer compulsory, it is always “strongly recommended” by the health authorities, especially in crowded situations or when the ventilation of the place is poor. The importance of respecting barrier gestures is also recalled, as well as the need to get vaccinated if it has not already been done.
If you want to travel to the UK, it is no longer necessary to justify a complete vaccination schedule or present the result of a negative test. However, you will need to remember to take your passport.
• 300 euros fine for not wearing a mask in Greece
The number of Covid-19 cases in Greece has also been on the rise in recent days, and according to Greek media, the peak of the epidemic is expected in mid-July. This increase is a real concern for this country which lives largely from tourism at the start of the summer season.
For the moment, “wearing a mask (of the FFP2 or KN95 type) is compulsory in urban public transport and everywhere else in situations where the rules of distancing cannot apply”, emphasizes the French Embassy in Greeceadding that in “case of non-wearing of the mask in the spaces where it is required, the offenders are liable to an administrative fine of 300 euros.”
On the other hand, the presentation of the health pass remains compulsory in places of health or care, and “a screening test may be required at the entrance to these establishments”. It is also necessary “to observe the barrier measures in all places and in all circumstances”.
However, “since May 1, 2022, Greece has suspended its restrictions on entry into its territory from abroad regardless of the country of origin. No health document (vaccination or cure certificate), no screening test is not required for boarding or border crossing”, explains France Diplomatie.
Given the very changing nature of the health situation linked to Covid-19, it is recommended to regularly consult the various official websites of the countries mentioned above, as well as the platform of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to find out about potential reassessments of the health measures in place and the conditions of access to the territories.