12.2 C
Friday, June 2, 2023
NewsEurope prepares for bleak winter as coronavirus rages across nations - Vatican...

Europe prepares for bleak winter as coronavirus rages across nations – Vatican News

DISCLAIMER: Information and opinions reproduced in the articles are the ones of those stating them and it is their own responsibility. Publication in The European Times does not automatically means endorsement of the view, but the right to express it.

DISCLAIMER TRANSLATIONS: All articles in this site are published in English. The translated versions are done through an automated process known as neural translations. If in doubt, always refer to the original article. Thank you for understanding.

News mostly coming from official institutions (officialinstitutions)

More from the author

World Bee Day 20 May

World Bee Day 20 May – We all depend on the survival of bees

World Bee Day is 20 May coincides with the birthday of Anton Janša, who in the 18th century pioneered modern beekeeping techniques
needed to safeguard media freedom and protect democracy

Urgent collective response needed to safeguard media freedom and protect democracy

The ninth South East Europe Media Conference, "At a Crossroads: Safeguarding Media Freedom to Protect Democracy,"
Türkey's elections marked by unlevel playing field

Türkey’s elections marked by unlevel playing field yet still competitive, international observers say

Characterized by a high turnout, Türkey’s elections were well-managed and offered voters a choice between genuine political alternatives, but with an unjustified advantage for the for politicians in power

By Stefan J. Bos

With Christmas and other celebrations approaching, much of Europe still faces lockdowns and other measures amid the raging coronavirus pandemic. 

In Sweden, people have been told to prepare for possible travel restrictions during the holiday period.

And Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar made clear that people in his Catholic nation might have to celebrate Christmas without loved ones living abroad. “I think in terms of people booking flights to come home for Christmas, I’d advise them not to do that at the moment,” he told legislators. 

“I know that’s difficult . . . tough, but Christmas is six weeks away, and it’s too soon to be booking flights to come home,” he added. “We’re not in a position at this point to advise people that it’s safe to come home for Christmas.” 


Varadkar cited the 1967 outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in England, where Irish people were asked not to come home. “They didn’t come into Ireland, and I’m not saying it’s the same, but certainly, we’re not in the position at this point to advise people that it’s safe to come home for Christmas.”

He added: “I know that’s a tough message to hear, but that’s the case for the short term. International travel is a risk. I think we need to be upfront and honest about that.”

French authorities also said it was too soon to tell if people could make travel arrangements. France is among several nations with tough lockdowns. 

In Italy, for instance, much of the country is in lockdown, and there are calls for stricter measures after authorities reported 636 coronavirus deaths on Thursday. 

Among others is Portugal, which has significantly expanded the number of places subject to a night curfew. From Monday, three-quarters of the country will be under the government’s toughest restrictions.


It’s even more challenging here in Hungary. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has asked the army to help impose an 8 pm to 5 am curfew. 

While Hungary closed its borders to most foreigners in early September, bars and restaurants remained open, and 16,000 people attended a Budapest soccer match in late October. 

But other central or eastern European countries imposed restrictions like those now in effect in Hungary weeks earlier. And this month, neighboring Slovakia administered 3 million tests in a single weekend, while Hungary’s daily number of tests hovered around 18,000.

Prime Minister Orbán, who faces an election in 2022, says he hopes restrictions such as on family gatherings, which are limited to ten people, can be lifted by Christmas. 

But he warns that the effects of the coronavirus measures introduced on Wednesday will only be visible in two weeks. 

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Must read

Latest articles