Omicron alert: Here are Christmas, New Year restrictions imposed around the world

  • Omicron cases are multiplying at a rapid pace across Europe, the United States, the UK and Asia.
People walks by Christmas ornaments illuminated as part of the Christmas festivities.(AFP)
People walks by Christmas ornaments illuminated as part of the Christmas festivities.(AFP)
Published on Dec 21, 2021 11:44 AM IST
Copy Link
By | Written by Sharmita Kar | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, New Delhi

The rapid spread of Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease is likely to dampen Christmas and New Year festivities in many parts of the world as governments are discussing whether to strict restrictions to prevent a surge of Covid-19 cases.

The Omicron spread has already traversed across the United States, the United Kingdom and several European and Asian countries becoming a dominant strain. Several countries have, thus, imposed precautionary lockdown and restrictions to prevent further outbreak.

Here are restrictions imposed around Christmas and New Year’s across the world:

  • The Netherlands imposed a tough nationwide lockdown from Sunday to rein in sharply multiplying infections, even as its neighbouring European leaders have opted for something less stringent.
  • South Korea, Germany and Ireland have also decided to reimpose partial or full lockdowns, as well as other social distancing measures, in view of the recent Covid-19 surge.
  • The US has added eight more countries to the “high-risk” list after Omicron became the dominant strain circulating. However, President Joe Biden dismissed speculations of lockdown and stressed on the importance of getting vaccinated to protect from the wave of infections tied to the new variant.
  • England has yet to take a decision on lockdown on Christmas and New Year but it is mandatory to show vaccination certificates at nightclubs and large parties. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday admitted that the situation was "extremely difficult".
  • Ireland has issued an order to close entry in pubs and bars after 8pm.
  • France has imposed a blanket ban on fireworks on Christmas and New Year to avoid large gatherings.
  • New Zealand has delayed its reopening of its international border as several other countries reimposed social distancing measures. On the other hand, the Australian PM has suggested an end to lockdowns.
  • The Singapore health ministry is on alert for Omicron cases and was carrying out testing to determine whether the variant was behind a potential cluster of cases at a gym.
  • Israel has banned travel from 10 countries starting today.

Meanwhile, India has not announced any major restriction apart from the existing ones in light of Omicron. The country has so far reported at least 200 cases of the new variant, according to Union health ministry.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Indonesia to lift ban on palm oil exports from May 23 (Reuters)

    Indonesia to lift ban on palm oil exports from May 23

    Indonesia will lift its ban on palm oil exports next week, President Joko Widodo said Thursday, relieving pressure on the global vegetable oil market after prices spiked because of the suspension and the war in Ukraine. "The government will still be monitoring everything strictly to ensure the demand will be met with affordable prices," he said. Widodo said prices had fallen from 19,800 rupiah ($1.35) per litre to about 17,200 rupiah ($1.17) since the ban.

  • A protest march in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

    Sri Lanka lowers amount of foreign currency people can hold amid economic crisis

    Sri Lanka will lower the amount of foreign currency that individuals can hold to $10,000 from $15,000, and penalize anyone who holds foreign currency for more than three months by making it against the law, the island nation's central bank chief announced Thursday amid the worst economic crisis in recent memory. Shortages of hard currency have also hindered imports of raw materials for manufacturing and worsened inflation.

  • An employee of Songyo Knitwear Factory in Songyo district disinfects the work floor in Pyongyang, North Korea (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)

    North Korea's suspected Covid-19 caseload nears two million

    North Korea on Thursday reported 262,270 more suspected COVID-19 cases as its pandemic caseload neared 2 million — a week after the country acknowledged the outbreak and scrambled to slow infections in its unvaccinated population. The official Korean Central News Agency said more than 1.98 million people have become sick with fever since late April. At least 740,160 people are in quarantine, the news agency reported.

  • US President Joe Biden

    US president Biden invokes Defense Production Act over shortage of baby food

    President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to speed production of infant formula and authorized flights to import supply from overseas, as he faces mounting political pressure over a domestic shortage caused by the safety-related closure of the country's largest formula manufacturing plant. The Defense Production Act order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill orders from those companies before other customers, in an effort to eliminate production bottlenecks.

  • One person was injured Thursday when shots were fired in a school in the northern German city of Bremerhaven

    One injured in school shooting in northern Germany, suspect arrested: Police

    One person was injured Thursday when shots were fired in a school in the northern German city of Bremerhaven, police said, adding that they had arrested the suspected gunman. A police spokeswoman told AFP that the police operation was still ongoing. She was not immediately able to give further details about the victim or the incident.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 19, 2022