In the last 2 days, only India – with a population of more than 1.36 billion – has surpassed Turkey’s number of cases. When taking a slightly longer view with a 7-day rolling average, Reuters data shows India ranks fourth globally in new cases.
So, what is happening in Europe?
Turkey’s daily coronavirus infection numbers have soared above 60,000 and president Tayyip Erdoğan is likely to order a tightening of restrictions this week ahead of the tourism season, a senior government official told Reuters.
Turkey ranks fourth globally in new case numbers, which peaked near 56,000 last week – a five-fold jump from early March when Erdoğan loosened social curbs in what he called a period of “controlled normalization.”
The rest of Europe is implementing stricter COVID restriction with curfews and quarantines: among them is Germany which is going into another lockdown.
Travel in and out of Germany is permitted, but travelers have to provide a negative COVID test before boarding an inbound flight whether or not the area they are traveling from is classified as a “risk area.”
Holiday trips within Germany are discouraged, with hotels across the country only allowed to accommodate travelers for “necessary and expressly non-touristic” purposes such as people on business trips. The same rule applies to campsites.
Denmark is already using a corona pass to allow people to enter hairdressers and beauty salons, but now France has adapted a mobile phone app to enable people to travel to other French territories such as Corsica and Reunion. The TousAntiCovid (everyone against COVID) app can now be updated to show a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination. Travelers will still be allowed to provide their documents on paper, reported BBC.
All eyes are now on the Netherlands which will be on the government’s evening press conference where a cautious relaxation of COVID measures is in the cards. The cabinet is expected to agree to reopening café and bar terraces under strict rules and an end to a controversial overnight curfew.
France has become the first EU member state to begin testing a digital coronavirus travel certificate as part of a Europe-wide scheme. Brussels hopes this will allow people to travel more freely within the bloc by the summer wrote The Guardian.
The TousAntiCovid app, part of the country’s contact tracing program, has been upgraded to store negative COVID-19 test results on travelers’ mobile phones and is being trialed on flights to Corsica and overseas departments from this week. The trial will be extended from April 29 to include vaccination certificates, officials told Le Monde.
England was celebrating as it came out of the lockdown last Monday. For the first time in months, pub gardens, shops, and hairdressers have reopened in England as rules were also eased in the rest of the UK. Streets were packed with roads closed to give more space for al fresco drinking and dining.
Outdoor drinking and dining resumed on Monday for the first time since England’s lockdown began on January 5 – although for millions of people who lived under tier 4 restrictions in December, the wait had been even longer. Despite flurries of snow in parts of the country, people flocked to pubs and restaurants to celebrate the return of some of their freedoms.
Shoppers were seen queuing outside shops in Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, and London as non-essential retail opened for the first time since January 4. Shoppers flocked to the High Street, with long queues seen outside some retailers. Other people took advantage of England’s gyms and zoos reopening, British media reported.
People were also desperate for a haircut. One early-bird customer arrived as early as 5:45 AM on Monday morning as his hairdresser, Allen, was opening up at 6:00 AM. For the next 3 weeks, Allen has customers booked in from 6:00 AM until 9:00 PM, 7 days a week, with only a few 15-minute breaks each day. “We learnt after the first lockdown that you just have to embrace it and commit to longer hours to get as many clients in as possible to get through the backlog,” Allen told The Guardian.