As the number of Covid-19 cases rapidly rises in Europe after successful continental-wide UEFA Delta-variant super spreader events (soccer matches at full stadiums), some countries and cities are bringing back restrictions.
Both Mykonos and Barcelona + some parts of Catalonia have instituted nightly curfews. Music is banned in Mykonos, and there is no inside dining throughout Greece. Barcelona has a nightly curfew in place between 1 AM – 6 AM, essentially banning nightlife.
Here’s an excerpt from the Ekathimerini:
Greece banned music in restaurants and bars and restricted movement on its popular holiday island of Mykonos on Saturday after a rise in new coronavirus infections there.
Known as the party island of the super-rich, Mykonos is one of Greece’s most popular destinations, attracting more than a million visitors each summer, among them Hollywood stars, models and world-famous athletes.
Following a “worrying” local outbreak, the Civil Protection Ministry said it was banning music on the island around the clock and would only allow movement between 1 a.m to 6 a.m to those going to and from work, or for health reasons.
The restrictions will be in place until July 26, it said.
Here’s an excerpt from the Local:
Barcelona and other cities in Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region will impose a night-time curfew starting this weekend to fight a surge in virus cases after the measure won court approval on Friday.
Catalonia’s regional government on Wednesday asked the courts for permission to restore a nightly curfew between 1:00 am and 6:00 am in areas where infection rates surpass 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period.
The curfew is intended to discourage social gatherings on beaches and in parks to curb a spike in cases of the highly-contagious Delta variant, especially among unvaccinated young people.
The Covid-19 infection rates have rapidly risen both in Greece and parts of Spain. However, the direct correlation between the number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths has at least partially collapsed because the most vulnerable population, older folks, has been fully vaccinated.
Countries would prefer keeping the infections low because there is always a possibility of a new mutation forming that the current vaccines wouldn’t work.
There is quite an experiment beginning in the UK tomorrow when most Covid-19 related restrictions are removed despite high infection rates. The most recent data shows 55K recorded new cases for Saturday.
I left Greece on Monday last week, and there was already talk back then that some part of the country would bring back restrictions. I am currently in Madrid, where life is mostly normal and no nighttime curfews in place.
When I was in Barcelona in mid-May, there were plenty of youngish tourists from France who were surprised that nightclubs were not open at the time, and the only place to party after midnight was your hotel room or suite. They had all come to Spain to party when mostly everything was still closed in their country.
I still would be hesitant to make any plans to visit European countries unless you are already here, EU/EEA national or resident, and willing to make changes to your plans at short notice.