Delta Variant: Which Countries Have Imposed Fresh Curbs Due to COVID Surge?
While some have imposed fresh curbs due to Delta variant, others like the United Kingdom are planning to reopen.
States across India are gearing up to unlock as active COVID-19 cases continue to decline and recoveries are more than the fresh cases. However, some countries – from Australia to Bangladesh – are reporting a rapid spread of fresh coronavirus cases due to the Delta variant.
While some have imposed fresh restrictions, others like the United Kingdom are planning to go ahead with the reopening.
Which countries have decided to impose a lockdown? What are the travel restrictions? Here’s what we know.
A two-week lockdown has been announced across all of Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong in Australia until 9 July after a slight rise in fresh COVID-19 cases. Restrictions were also placed on Perth, Brisbane and Darwin, which were slightly relaxed over the 4-5 July weekend.
The Sydney outbreak has grown to nearly 150 cases – one of the highest numbers the country has seen in 2021.
Mandatory masks and limits on gatherings are some of the rules that are to be strictly followed now.
With almost half of the nation's population under stay-at-home orders, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that overseas arrivals would be cut by around 50 percent to help prevent further outbreaks.
A stricter lockdown is being imposed in Bangladesh from 5 to 14 July, due to the 'dangerous and alarming' surge in Delta variant cases. As per new guidelines, all offices, government and private, will be shut for a week, reported Reuters. People have been asked not to step out of their homes except in cases of emergency.
While factories have been allowed to operate maintaining health protocols, transportation of only essential goods is allowed.
“It is a dangerous and alarming situation. If we don’t contain it now, we will face an India-like situation,” Health Ministry Spokesperson Robed Amin told news agency AFP.
Despite witnessing a spike in new coronavirus cases due to the Delta variant, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the country will begin unlocking from 19 July.
The country is currently reporting around 25,000 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on a daily basis. However, the UK has also reported one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with at least 66 percent of the population receiving the first shot. Johnson is also expected to ease the mandatory mask wearing rule.
The British government, which enforced one of the longest lockdowns in the world, started unlocking in March. However, the final stage of easing of lockdown was delayed by a month to provide more time for people to be vaccinated amid the Delta variant spread.
Indonesia is currently facing one of Asia’s worst outbreaks with 27,913 new cases being reported last week – which authorities say is driven by the Delta variant.
The country has imposed restrictions on the functioning of offices, restaurants, cafes, malls and have been allowed to operate only at 25 percent capacity, reported Hindustan Times. Neighborhood-level restrictions have also been tightened, with high-risk areas categorized as 'red zones'.
Mosques, restaurants and shopping malls were shuttered in the capital city of Jakarta, across the main island of Java and on Bali. According to multiple reports, the country's daily caseload increased by four times in less than a month.
The European Union nation has issued new restrictions in the Lisbon area and two other regions amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. According to Hindustan Times, more than 70 percent of coronavirus cases in the capital is due to the Delta variant.
The country, which is heavily dependent on tourism, decided to reopen in summer. However, it has now imposed night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am in Lisbon, Porto and other major tourism spots.
"This is the time to avoid rules, follow gatherings, avoid parties and seek to contain numbers," the government has said.
The country will also re-impose travel restrictions and revise their quarantine guidelines for international travellers.
Russia has, since mid-June, been witnessing an explosion of coronavirus cases. A Euro 2020 host, Russia's Saint Petersburg over the 4-5 July weekend reported the country's highest daily COVID-19 death toll for a city since the start of the pandemic, reported Al Jazeera. The government has tightened anti-coronavirus restrictions last week, including closing food courts in the city’s shopping malls and its Euro 2020 fan zone.
The restaurants and the bars in the country have been ordered to serve people only if they have a QR-code showing they have been vaccinated or have tested negative.
(With inputs from Reuters, AFP, Hindustan Times, Al Jazeera)
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