Restrictions and Re-openings: Covid-19 Update

Up to date information about Covid restrictions and restaurant reopenings around Europe

Liza Cahiz
May 1, 2021

While the spread of Covid-19 continues across Europe and the world, the rate of infection has been trending downward in recent weeks. Coupled with an increase in vaccinations, there is optimism for Spring and Summer. But as to avoid a 3rd (or 4th) wave, governments are cautious in lifting restrictions and reopening businesses and boarders. Below find an up-to-date list of the current measures and guidelines for a variety of countries around Europe:

Austria: 

Austria is in the minority of European countries opting for more relaxed pandemic management despite 3rd wave. Almost all business will be allowed to reopen on May 19th, including restaurants, hotels, sports facilities and cultural venues. But for the next month, restaurants and bars will remain only open for take-away and delivery, and masks must be worn when picking up food. Shops, zoos, libraries, and museums are currently open while other leisure activities like gyms, cinemas, and pools remain closed, with the exception of the province of Vorarlberg. Hairdressers and similar services are open but require a negative test.

  • Indoor and Outdoor dining: May 19th

 

France:

As France is dealing with one of the highest rates of infection in the EU, strict lockdown measures are still in place. The French vaccine campaign has picked up speed and officials are hoping to relax restrictions and begin returning to normal in early May. Restaurants, bars, non-essential shops, hairdressers, cinemas, and tourist attractions all remain closed. A curfew is also in place from 7pm-6am and masks are required in all public areas. Schools remain open.

 

 

Germany: 

With the latest update coming on 14 April, restaurants and bars remain closed under current rules. If more than 100 Covid infections per 100,000 people are registered within 7 days, then stricter lockdown measures will apply until new cases fall below the 100 threshold for five consecutive days.

 

Italy:

Restaurateurs from around Italy have been protesting closure requirements in Rome. As the country is struggling with a third wave of the virus, current lockdown measures will remain until at least the end of April, with talks of some loosening on 3 May and regions with lower rates of infections may be reopening sooner. There are also plans to begin indoor dining again on June 1st, as well as indoor gyms/fitness studies. However, as of Monday 26 April, South Tyrol has reopened restaurants for both indoor and outdoor dining, against government orders. There is a ban on non-essential travel between regions and a curfew between 10pm-5am. 

  • Indoor and Outdoor dining: June 1st

 

Spain: 

Both good and bad news out of Spain: while a fourth wave of the virus is hitting the country, vaccinated residents are now out numbering all Spain Covid cases since the start of the pandemic. Close to 35% of the country has received at least the first vaccine. In parts of Spain, restaurants are open for take-away and outdoor dining in the morning and lunch time hours, but closed for dinner. There is no established timeline of when restaurants will be reopening for normal hours or indoor dining.

 

Switzerland: 

Unlike neighboring countries who are considering tightening restrictions, Switzerland announced it would loosen Covid-19 restrictions starting on Monday April 19 after nearly 5 months of closures. Restaurants and bars will allow outdoor seating with a maximum capacity of four people per table. Indoor and outdoor sport facilities and gyms, cinemas, and other leisure facilities have reopened as of April 19th. Nightclubs and discos will remain closed and masks are required indoors and in all public areas.
  • Outdoor dining: April 19

 

U.K.: 

After three particularly strict national lockdowns, the UK has reopened outdoor dining as of the 12tf of April. Pubs, shops, and other services like gyms and hair dressers reopened on the same day, as the robust vaccine roll-out is being seen as a success. More than 60% of adults have had their first vaccine. 
  • Outdoor dining: April 12
  • Indoor dining: May 17