Coronavirus: Which countries have had to reimpose COVID-19 restrictions after easing lockdown?

28 July 2020, 11:34 | Updated: 28 July 2020, 17:08

The UK - having imposed new restrictions on those returning from Spain, and previously introduced its first local lockdown in Leicester - is far from the only country to have had to respond to resurging coronavirus infection rates.

Below are some of the countries that have toughened their rules as a result of an increase in the number of cases at home or abroad, as spikes occur and the number of new outbreaks starts to rise again following the easing of earlier lockdown measures.

Belgium

Belgium's prime minister on Monday unveiled a range of measures aimed at avoiding a new nationwide lockdown.

Outside of family groups, gatherings will be limited to a bubble of five people, down from the current 15 people.

Crowds will be limited to 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors after a surge in the number of cases in the last three weeks, particularly in the Antwerp area.

In the northern region, a curfew has been announced and the wearing of masks will be mandatory when social distancing of 1.5 metres cannot be observed.

Spain

Madrid's regional government has made face masks compulsory in all public areas and is limiting the number of people who can gather in one area as a result of rising infection rates in the east and northeast of Spain.

In Catalonia, which is one of the regions to have seen a rise in cases, all nightlife venues have been ordered to close for 15 days with a midnight curfew on bars in Barcelona and Lleida.

In Navarra, another badly-hit area by the new surge, the regional government has reduced capacity in shops, places of worship and restaurants by 50%.

Spain's national government has delegated the lessening or tightening of restrictions to regional governments following the end of the national lockdown.

Germany

There is concern that rates are rising in Germany. On Monday, Berlin announced plans for free, compulsory coronavirus tests for holidaymakers returning from 130 high-risk countries - including Turkey and the US.

German authorities are advising against tourism to Catalonia, Aragon and Navarra, but the national government is yet to recategorise Spain as high risk, meaning those arriving from Spain do not have to quarantine.

Bavaria said it was ready to start testing arrivals at its airports as soon as the federal government allowed it and also announced voluntary test centres at three road border crossings, as well as the main railway stations in Munich.

The city of Hamburg is apparently mulling over whether to ban alcohol after a large number of people were witnessed ignoring social distancing rules at the weekend.

France

The wearing of masks in all indoor public spaces was made mandatory in France last week following a rise in cases.

French authorities have also advised their citizens against travelling to Catalonia.

Italy

Following concerns about the risk of the disease spreading, as many people flock to the country's tourist hotspots, the island of Capri has insisted everyone must wear a mask in the street, as well as in public spaces indoors, due to overcrowding in the narrow alleyways.

Norway

Norway has employed a similar measure to the UK by insisting that anyone arriving from Spain or Portugal will have to quarantine for 10-days.

US

Kentucky's governor has ordered bars to close and restaurants to scale back the number of customers they serve indoors to combat a spike in coronavirus cases.

People travelling from North Dakota to Washington DC must self isolate for 14 days when they arrive, after the state was recategorised high risk by officials.

The governors of many states, however, are refusing to tighten restrictions even though cases are surging.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has banned gatherings of more than two people and restaurant dining in response to a spike in locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases over the past three weeks.

It has also introduced rules making it mandatory to wear masks in public places.

Hong Kong was one of the first places to relax its lockdown to allow restaurant dining and hospitality to restart.

Vietnam

In Vietnam, which was relatively coronavirus-free for some months, 80,000 people have been evacuated from its third largest city Da Nang after 11 residents tested positive.

The evacuation is taking at least four days, with domestic airlines operating approximately 100 flights a day.

The new cases are all linked to a hospital and include four healthcare workers.

Vietnam closed itself to foreign tourism, but there was a surge in domestic travellers looking to take advantage of discounted holidays.

Australia

Victoria state is restricting non-urgent surgeries in hospitals as it makes sure there are enough nurses to cope with high levels of infection in care homes.

Australia, which has had relatively low levels of coronavirus infection so far, with just 15,304 cases and 167 deaths - way below most European countries of a similar size - eased many of its lockdown restrictions in May and June, with Victoria earlier than some other states.

China

Authorities have restricted public transport and isolated some communities in its western Xinjiang province after a rise in cases.

There have been isolated cases and clusters in the east, but the country that went first into lockdown has managed to keep most under control.

Iran

The country's health ministry has urged people not to visit the holy northeast city of Mashhad after a 300% increase in cases in a month.