Due to worries over the Omicron version, France has imposed stronger Covid limitations.
Remote working will become mandatory for those who can begin on January 3rd, and public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 persons for indoor events.
The announcement comes after France reported over 100,000 new illnesses on Saturday, the highest amount since the pandemic began.
The prime minister, however, refrained from imposing a New Year’s Eve curfew.
As he revealed the new measures at a news conference following a crisis cabinet meeting, Jean Castex told reporters that the pandemic felt “like a film without a finale.”
Coronavirus infections were doubling every two days, according to Health Minister Olivier Véran, who warned of a “mega tsunami” of new cases.
Outdoor public gatherings would be limited to 5,000 people under the new laws, and eating and drinking will be prohibited on long-distance transportation.
Nightclubs will be closed till further notice, and only table service will be available at cafés and bars. Employees who work from home at least three days a week will be required to do so. In city centres, wearing a mask will be required.
The government is also reducing the period between booster doses from four to three months following the last vaccine.
If parliament passes a draught bill, France’s planned vaccine pass, which will demand proof of vaccination rather than just a negative test to enter public spaces, will take effect on January 15th.
Mr Castex, on the other hand, refrained from imposing a complete lockdown or a New Year’s Eve curfew. On the 3rd of January, schools will return as scheduled.
France currently has an average of more than 70,000 new illnesses per day, according to the country’s coronavirus dashboard.
According to data from France’s public health authority, more than 1,600 more hospitalizations were recorded on Monday, increasing the total number of individuals in hospital as a result of Covid-19 to 17,000.
Additional limits have been imposed in Germany and Greece as governments attempt to halt the tide of positive cases elsewhere in Europe.
From the 27th of December, the size of gatherings in Germany will be limited, and gyms, swimming pools, nightclubs, and theatres will be closed to the public in numerous states. A maximum of ten people will be allowed in a private gathering of vaccinated people.
The Greek government will order bars and restaurants to close by midnight starting on January 3rd, and tables will be limited to six people. According to the Reuters news agency, venues would not be able to cater to standing clients, and if they do not comply, music will be prohibited in those locations.
In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has stated that no additional Covid limits will be enforced in England before the new year. However, he advised people to “be cautious” and celebrate New Year’s Eve outside if possible.
Over the Christmas period, both England and Scotland reported a high number of cases.