Europe Lifts COVID Restrictions: What Are the Rules in Different Countries?

Denmark has completely lifted all its COVID restrictions. Which other European countries are easing curbs?

2 min read

With daily COVID cases starting to decline, many European countries have begun easing their COVID-19 restrictions.

While these countries are expecting a return to normalcy, the World Health Organization on 1 February, Tuesday, has cautioned against the rapid relaxation of curbs.

Which other countries in Europe are easing curbs? What are the new rules? Here's all you need to know:


On Tuesday, 1 February, Denmark became the first European country to lift all the COVID-19 restrictions:

  • Face masks are no longer compulsory.

  • Nightclubs have reopened.

  • No restrictions on the number of people in gatherings.

  • Restaurants, cinemas, and all public places have reopened.

  • Public transport has resumed.

  • The Danish coronavirus app is no longer mandatory.

This is because, despite a large number of daily cases, the virus is no longer considered a "critical threat." Over 80 percent of the population, aged 5 years or more, have had two vaccine doses, and over 60 percent have received a third booster dose.

United Kingdom

England had relaxed most of its COVID-19 regulations on 27 January.

  • Face masks are no longer a legal mandate.

  • COVID passes are no longer required to enter clubs.

  • People are no longer suggested to work from home.

Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have also introduced similar relaxations.


The Netherlands has recently relaxed its COVID restrictions, which will be in place till 8 March.

  • Restaurants, bars, and cafes can operate till 10 pm.

  • The maximum capacity of people at sports and cultural events will be 1,250.

  • Strict regulations in public transport have waned.


At the end of January, France stated that it will relax the COVID-19 curbs in two phases. Currently:

  • The limit on audience capacity has been removed for events.

  • Masks are no longer mandatory.

  • Work-from-home is no longer required.

The second phase of the lifting of curbs is likely to begin from 16 February and is expected to include reopening of the nightclubs and permission to eat/drink in cinemas, stadiums, or public transport (among others).


Switzerland has proposed to lift most of its COVID curbs by 16 February:

  • COVID certificates and vaccine passports will no longer be mandatory.

  • Work-from-home is no longer necessary (from 2 February, Tuesday).

  • Quarantine rules are to be relaxed.

Countries to Ease/Remove Travel Restrictions

The following European countries have removed/eased travel restrictions:

  • Italy: To ease restrictions for travellers from European countries from 1 February.

  • Germany: To ease restrictions for travellers from South Africa.

  • Belgium: To lift the non-essential travel ban from 19 April.

(Inputs from BBC, Reuters, and LiveMint.)

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