By Clara Prander ’22
Although cases of COVID-19 seemed to go down for a short period of time, Europe now sees an increase again, something that forced countries into a third lockdown. Germany and France have made stricter decisions to try to limit the spread and new cases of Covid-19.
France, went in and out of lockdown many times, and decided to go into another. Although it’s still a lockdown, it’s a milder version of its others . Non-essential businesses still need to be closed, but schools can remain open. In difference from the last lockdown, where people were just being able to move 1 kilometer from their homes, they can now move 10 km from their house. This is appreciated by French citizens since it gives them more freedom.
Germany is another country that said that they were going to have a lockdown over Easter weekend, but changed their plans at the last minute. Although they changed their mind, doctors in the country are in favor of stricter rules. They have also seen a problem with their increasing cases, and the government has pressure on them to do something to decrease the amount of cases.
Other countries in Europe have also made stricter regulations during Easter. Portugal, Belgium and Italy have all put their citizens under lockdown, but have said that after Easter they will gradually open up again. Sweden’s government has for the first time allowed their government to impose corona-related curbs. They have a maximum limit to 8 people at gatherings, and only four people at restaurants. Despite their cases going up, they still haven’t imposed a lockdown.
With the vaccine becoming more widely available, many countries were counting on having their population vaccinated, and therefore resulting in fewer cases. Due to the scarcity of the vaccine, it hasn’t been as big of a success as they thought. With fewer vaccines available to distribute, it will take the countries in Europe longer than expected to vaccinate their people. While there are some countries that have gone further in the vaccination process, the UK and Hungary and others are far behind with less than 5% of their populations vaccinated.