Factbox: Coronavirus hits Christmas holiday plans across Europe
(Reuters) - Governments across Europe are trying to navigate between avoiding the spread of the coronavirus over the Christmas holiday season and allowing people to celebrate with family and friends. Here are measures that will be adopted for year-end festivities by some European countries: BRITAIN People living in England in tier 4 areas with restrictions similar to those of a national lockdown, will not be allowed to mix with others over Christmas.
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(Reuters) - Governments across Europe are trying to navigate between avoiding the spread of the coronavirus over the Christmas holiday season and allowing people to celebrate with family and friends.
Here are measures that will be adopted for year-end festivities by some European countries:
People living in England in tier 4 areas with restrictions similar to those of a national lockdown, will not be allowed to mix with others over Christmas. Everyone else will be allowed to see family and friends only on Dec. 25.
In Wales, two households will be able to mix on Christmas Day.
In Scotland, which imposed a ban on travel to the rest of the United Kingdom, the Christmas easing of measures will be limited to Dec. 25 only.
Italians will be placed under a nationwide lockdown for much of the Christmas and New Year holidays. Non-essential shops will be shuttered between Dec. 24-27, Dec. 31-Jan. 3 and Jan. 5-6. On these days, people will be allowed to travel only for work, health or emergency reasons.
Pope Francis's Christmas Eve Mass will start two hours earlier, allowing the limited number of people who can attend to be home by 10 p.m.
Poland will extend the closing of schools, restaurants and sports centres to hotels, ski slopes and shopping malls from Dec. 28 to Jan. 17. There will be a curfew on New Year's Eve from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. the day after. It will also require a 10-day quarantine for those returning to the country by public transportation.
Restaurants, sports and recreation centres will be closed for a month from Dec. 22, with shops to stay open with a further limited capacity.
Croats won't be able to leave the county of their residence between Dec. 23 and Jan. 8. No more than 10 people from maximum two households will be allowed at private gatherings during the holiday season.
The overnight curfew will be pushed back from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, with no limit on how many people can gather per household for Christmas. The curfew will be kept at 11 p.m on New Year's Eve. People will not be allowed to leave their homes between 1 p.m. and 5 a.m. from Jan. 1 to Jan. 3.
Curfews will be loosened and up to 10 people per household will be allowed to gather for Christmas and New Year as a general rule. Each region can implement stricter curbs.
Movement between regions will be restricted to visits of family and close friends between Dec. 23 and Jan. 6, unless the regions impose tougher rules.
Shopping malls will be closed from Dec. 17 and other stores, with the exception of supermarkets and food shops, from Dec. 25, as part of a hard lockdown over Christmas and the New Year.
The country will keep secondary schools, shopping malls, cafes, gyms and restaurants closed and group tourist visits banned until Jan. 31. However, hotel restaurants will reopen on Dec. 22 at 50% of their capacity and only until 10 p.m.
The nation has gone into a hard five-week lockdown. Gatherings are limited to two people with a temporary relief raising the limit to three adult visitors over three days around Christmas.
Restaurants, hotels and indoor sports venues were shut again on Dec. 18, and an 11 p.m. curfew will be in place.
Germany will only keep essential shops open from Dec. 16 until at least Jan. 10. Private gatherings will remain limited to no more than five people from two households, with rules to be eased over the Christmas holidays when up to 10 people will be allowed to gather, not counting children.
Hair salons and bookstores will reopen during Christmas, while other restrictions will remain in place until Jan. 7.
Churches will open for the Christmas and Epiphany masses on Dec. 25 and Jan. 6, with a limited number of worshippers.
France will lift its stay-at-home order on Dec. 15 and replace it with a nightly curfew, which will be waived for Christmas Eve.
The country cancelled New Year's Eve celebrations and restrictions and will maintain restrictions until Jan. 11.
Norwegians will be able to invite up to 10 guests into their homes on two separate occasions between Christmas and New Year. Outside those days, the current limit of up to five guests will apply.
Belgian households will only be able to be in close contact with one extra person over Christmas. People living on their own will be able to meet two others. Fireworks will be banned on New Year's Eve.
Three households will be allowed to meet between Dec. 18 and Jan. 6, and the countrywide travel ban will be lifted for that period.
(Compiled by Elizaveta Gladun, Aida Pelaez-Fernandez and Veronica Snoj in Gdansk, Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Alistair Bell)
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