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
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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.

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