Amid strong concern about the increased transmissibility and aggressive spread of new strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, most EU Member States are extending the strict restrictions they apply nationally, according to the latest data available from the European Center for Infection Control and Prevention (ECDC).
At the same time, the ECDC and the European Commission call on Member States to implement policies of increased testing in the community, in addition to any restrictive measures in place at national level, so that the monitoring of the epidemiological situation in the community is continuous.
In this regard, Cyprus, as one of the few EU countries that is de-escalating the measures, implements a mass antigen control program with rapid antigen of all workers who are reactivated in each phase of the strategy of lifting the restrictions. The goal of this action is to ensure that the reboot is done smoothly and safely. At the same time, it carries out a mandatory weekly control program with rapidtest antigen on the staff of companies that have not suspended their operation, protecting the workplaces through continuous surveillance and ensuring timely intervention in case of outbreaks.
In the light of the World Health Organization's assessment of the risk of spreading the virus to various sites / activities, EU countries are focusing their national strategy on implementing restrictions and / or suspending high-risk areas of transmission, such as catering sites. , gyms and retail businesses.
As shown in the table below, restaurants are considered high risk of transmitting the virus due to the socialization of citizens. They remain in operation in only one country (Slovenia), while in 15 countries the restaurants are closed, in most cases from November until today. In 10 states, restaurants operate with very strict restrictions on hours, maximum number of people, etc.
In 17 countries, gyms remain closed due to the universal lockdown, ie from October to November. In six countries gyms are open, while in three other states they operate with restrictions. Gyms are considered high-risk areas for the transmission of the virus, as noted by the WHO and the ECDC, since, due to the nature of the activity, it is not possible to observe individual protection measures by athletes.
With regard to retail businesses, there is still a great deal of reservation on the part of European countries. Due to the easy access to places where social gatherings are encouraged (public spaces within large shopping malls and department stores, restaurants within retail businesses, cinemas, entertainment / amusement parks, etc.), both WHO and ECD -especially shopping malls and department stores- in areas with increased risk of spreading the virus. To this end, the recommendations are as if their reopening is being done in a controlled and careful manner, implementing measures and health protocols, which will prevent the unnecessary presence of citizens in public places and, consequently, will limit social gatherings.
x: Closed √: Open with restrictions N / A: No data available
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