Watch: Global Protests Over COVID Lockdowns

Nations all across Europe are imposing strict measures to deal with a fresh wave of COVID-19 outbreaks started by the highly communicable omicron strain, sparking demonstrations from Paris to Barcelona.

Europe Goes into Lockdown

Authorities in France and Austria strengthened restrictions on travel, as the number of cases increased.


The fireworks show scheduled for New Year’s Eve in Paris has been canceled. Denmark’s theaters, concert halls, theme parks, and museums have all been closed. Ireland placed a curfew of 8 p.m. on pubs and bars, as well as limiting attendees in indoor and outdoor environments.

In a televised address, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin caught the mood of the continent, stressing the additional restrictions were necessary to protect people’s livelihoods from the returning virus.

Martin stated Friday night, “None of this is simple. We’re all tired of COVID and the constraints it imposes. Everyone is affected by the plot twists, failures, and disappointments, but that is the reality with which we must contend.”

Other countries may go even further. Dutch government ministers will meet on Saturday to discuss the suggestion of a group of specialists, who have recommended the partial lockdown already in place be strengthened.

The government previously reimposed a need for masks to be used indoors and forced people to produce confirmation of immunization or a recent negative coronavirus test when traveling to nightclubs and other events in the UK.

Scientists are now saying the government must do more to keep hospitals from being overburdened. According to the BBC, leaked documents from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advised a prohibition on indoor mixing and hospitality.

Following early evidence showing two doses of vaccination were less effective against the omicron type, Britain and other countries are speeding up booster shots. In the United Kingdom, shopping malls, churches, and football stadiums have been turned into mass immunization facilities.

Vaccines for Everyone

The vaccination will be given to youngsters aged 5 to 11 in France starting on Wednesday, according to the authorities.

With the omicron strain spreading like “lightning,” Prime Minister Jean Castex warned Friday the administration is contemplating demanding proof of immunization for anyone accessing eateries, cafes, as well as other public spaces.

The bill is awaiting Parliament’s approval.

Protests are scheduled in Paris on Saturday to protest the new vaccine pass, as well as continued government restrictions. There will also be demonstrations in Turin, Italy.

To combat the spread of the coronavirus, Denmark’s prime minister stated on Friday cinemas, theaters, concert venues, theme parks, museums, and art galleries across the nation will be shuttered under new restrictions.

The restrictions also force retailers and restaurants with less than 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet) to limit the number of clients, according to Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

At 10 p.m., restaurants must serve their final meals and alcoholic beverages before closing at 11 p.m.

The Epidemic Committee of Parliament, which has 21 members, accepted the partial closure order later Friday. The majority of the restrictions go into effect on Sunday at 8 a.m.

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