Christmas in Europe: Where, what and which Corona rules apply

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In the birthplace of Jesus, in Bethlehem, the lights on the Christmas tree in the manger square are on, as they are every year. Only the pilgrims are missing. Due to high infection rates, there is a curfew at night and on weekends. This year, only a handful of local Christians are also allowed to attend Mass at the Church of the Nativity.

Italy
From December 21 to January 6, Italians are not allowed to leave their home region. Travel between Lombardy and Tuscany, for example, is prohibited. And anyone who wants to return to Italy from abroad during this time will have to spend two weeks in quarantine.

Even stricter rules apply during the Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve: All citizens must stay in their communities. Visits by relatives are prohibited – each household is to celebrate on its own. Exceptions are only made for grandparents who are dependent on assistance. There is a curfew from 10 p.m., so Christmas masses must celebrated earlier-. In the less vulnerable areas, restaurants, cafes and pastry shops are allowed to be open until 6 pm. Four people are allowed per table.

Spain
Christmas will also be very quiet in Spain this year. In order not to jeopardize the successes in the fight against the pandemic, there should be as little travel and contact as possible over Christmas and New Year until Epiphany. Only visits to the immediate family, i.e. children or parents, are allowed between the regions. In addition, on December 24, 25 and 31, a total of ten people are allowed to meet instead of six, but the children are counted.

France
Also in France Christmas is to be celebrated only in the smallest circle, the celebrations are to be limited to six adults plus children. However, unlike Spain, the French are allowed to move around the country without restriction to visit their families. Nightly curfews from 9 p.m. to six a.m. will be suspended only on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Cafes, bars and restaurants will continue to be closed over Christmas, but visits to theaters, museums and concerts will be possible during the holidays. Church services will also be possible, despite strict attendance restrictions.

Poland
Tough lockdown rules have been introduced in Poland: Schools and restaurants are closed, and in supermarkets certain times for shopping are reserved for the high-risk group of senior citizens. Five people and the hosts, i.e., a maximum of seven people, are allowed to attend private parties, but the guests should come from one household. Churches also have strict attendance restrictions, and Masses are often broadcast online. In addition, the episcopate plans to officially exempt strictly Catholic Poles from mandatory Mass on Dec. 25. The semester break has been set for January 4-17, a period intended to act as an extra lockdown. As in Austria, ski lifts are open but hotels are closed.

Netherlands
The following also applies over the holidays: no more than three guests per household – and these should come from the surrounding area if possible. The Netherlands wants its strict restrictions, the gastronomy is closed, day trips are more or less prohibited, many places of worship remain closed. The Dutch government expects all these measures to remain in place until vaccinations can begin in January.

Great Britain
In Great Britain, the Corona rules are relaxed for Christmas. Three households can celebrate together Christmas from Dec. 23 to 27. They are allowed to visit each other at home, spend the night together and travel nationwide to do so. In Northern Ireland, this lasts two days longer; in Scotland, meetings are limited to eight people, not counting children. Who is allowed to meet whom in the open additionally depends on regional restrictions.

Sweden
Stores, restaurants and ski slopes remain open; there are no stricter rules in Sweden for Christmas. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven appeals to the common sense of his countrymen: there should never be more than eight people celebrating together, and everyone should refrain from traveling, going to restaurants and shopping.

  • hp, Source: kurier.at. Picture: pixabay.com
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