What restrictions have European countries imposed to tackle Omicron?

22 December 2021, 08:41 | Updated: 22 December 2021, 09:42

The Netherlands has already brought in tough restrictions with a lockdown announced on Monday
The Netherlands has already brought in tough restrictions with a lockdown announced on Monday. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Countries across Europe have taken tough new action to tackle the spread of the Omicron Covid variant over the festive period.

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Boris Johnson announced yesterday that people in England should "go ahead" with their plans as normal, but it is expected that restrictions will be imposed at some point after Boxing Day.

The PM said current evidence does not justify "any tougher measures" ahead of December 25 but other countries see things differently.

Here's what countries in Europe are doing to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant.


Not currently planning any new Covid restrictions however, limits have already been announced on gatherings during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, and tougher measures including a new lockdown have not yet been ruled out. Officials are said to be watching the data on Omicron 'closely'.


From 28 December limits will return that restrict private gatherings to 10 people. Nightclubs will close and after that date football matches will be played behind closed doors.

Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: "Coronavirus doesn't take a Christmas break."


Spain's restrictions vary greatly from region to region. Catalonia has brought in tough restrictions with meetings limited to 10 people, restaurants and bars being closed at night and a curfew between 1am and 6am. Madrid however is opposed to any new restrictions days before Christmas.

Officials in Spain face criticism over the lack of consistency in the rules for the country’s 17 different regions. Broadly speaking, masks are mandated indoors and some places require Covid passports to access bars and restaurants. There is ‘guidance’ to limit social gatherings.


Portugal has ordered bars and nightclubs to shut from 26 December. Working from home is mandatory from Boxing Day until 9 January. Outdoor gatherings are being limited to 10 people.


The Netherlands has already brought in tough restrictions with a lockdown announced on Monday. Lockdown started on December 19 and will remain in place until January 14 at the earliest. All gyms, public places, bars, indoor dining, and non-essential shops will be closed until the lockdown ends.


In Finland infections are at a record level. Bars and restaurants will have to close at 10pm on 24 December. For three weeks starting on 28 December, restaurants will close at 6pm with limited seating. Travellers coming from the EU's border-free Schengen zone will have to show a negative Covid test.


From Wednesday, bars, cafes and restaurants will only be able to serve seated guests, and people are being asked to work from home.