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From congestion to the limit of people at the table. This is how it will be Christmas on the street

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Swhile in Portugal the government announced key measures for the holiday season today, there are countries still waiting to see if there will be new restrictions on Christmas and New Years, and others where, as we already know, tough measures are expected. …

In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, no additional measures are expected, as the government claims there are not “sufficient elements to justify stricter measures” during the Christmas period.

As a rule, in most countries the Omicron variant is responsible for tightening the belts. Measures range from the maximum number of people at the table in family gatherings to the mandatory curfew on New Years Eve.

Read here the measures already announced for the holiday season in Europe (and beyond):

CZECH REPUBLIC

The Czech Republic will lift the state of emergency and some current restrictions such as limited opening times for bars and restaurants on December 25.

The decision, one of the first to be taken by the new Czech executive since taking office on Friday, came when the Central European country recorded a clear downward trend in the infection registry, with the delta variant of the new coronavirus prevailing.

Given the uncertainty about the possible impact of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, which is more infectious than previous strains but does not yet dominate the Czech Republic, the authorities do not rule out further restrictions.

“If the situation gets worse, the government is ready to reopen discussions on the state of emergency,” said Conservative Prime Minister Peter Fiala.

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GREECE

Greece will strengthen police controls during the Christmas holidays to prevent the spread of Covid-19, while considering the possibility of requiring rapid tests, in addition to the vaccine, to enter restaurants and entertainment venues.

About 10,000 agents will conduct checks to verify the application of measures during parties.

Currently, a certificate of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 is required to enter stores, while unvaccinated people must have a negative PCR or antigen test. The entrance to restaurants, bars and nightclubs is allowed only to those who are vaccinated and who have already been ill.

GERMANY

In Germany, it was decided to limit contacts, even among vaccinated people, as of December 28, due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

After meeting with the regional leaders (Länder), German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz decided to limit gatherings to a maximum of ten people, excluding those under the age of 14, while major events such as games, football, concerts or cultural events will be closed to the public.

Nightclubs and discos will be closed throughout the country, and all activities that include dancing will be banned.

UNITED KINGDOM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that No further COVID-19 countermeasures to be introduced in the village at least until Christmas.

The announcement follows a ministerial meeting at which officials ruled out the possibility of new restrictions at this time, despite warnings from experts about an increase in the number of deaths and hospitalizations without more severe measures, as well as the rapid spread of infection. Omicron variant on British soil.

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“We don’t think there are enough elements to warrant tighter measures before Christmas,” Boris Johnson said in a video posted to his Twitter account.

SWEDEN

Sweden, which stood out with several preventive measures during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, will impose new restrictions on Thursday due to concerns about the spread of a new variant of Omicron.

The telecommuting period will be extended and bars and restaurants will no longer serve regular customers.

Nightlife entertainment will be closed on New Year’s Eve, and events with more than 20 people can only take place if the participants are seated.

Retail establishments and restaurants will continue to operate, but with reduced capacity.

FRANCE

France, which on Tuesday reported more than 73,000 new cases of covid-19 infection, of which 20% of cases are associated with the new variant of Omicron, called for a “reduction in contacts” during the Christmas holidays and warned that “they can be adopted by others. measures if the situation worsens. “

MOROCCO

The Moroccan government has issued a mandatory retirement decree on New Year’s Eve. On the night of December 31, parties or special programs in hotels, restaurants and tourist sites will be prohibited.

On New Year’s Eve, restaurants and cafes must close at 11:30 pm and there will be a mandatory waiver from midnight on December 31st to 6:00 am on January 1st.

The announcement comes after the first case of a new variant of the drug, Omicron, was detected in Morocco last week.

MOZAMBIQUE

Mozambique’s President Filipe Nusi suspended curfews for Christmas and New Years, keeping most of the country’s Covid-19 prevention restrictions.

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“In exceptional cases, the mandatory collection time is suspended on the night from 24 to 25 and on the night of December 31 to January 1, so that families can celebrate these moments in communication,” said the head of state of Mozambique during the meeting. to the people.

The curfew in the main cities of the country operates from 00:00 to 04:00 (from 22:00 to 02:00 in Lisbon).

Filipe Niusi kept almost all of the measures, banning visits to prisoners due to the “exponential growth” of cases in prisons, and also reduced the number of patient visits in hospitals from two to one per day.

The measures will be in effect for another 30 days, from Tuesday to January 19, 2022.

Read also: Many Portuguese expats spend Christmas in Portugal and follow the rules.

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“These Nazis don’t speak Russian. It encourages barbarism”: an analysis of José Milhazes and Nuno Rogueiro

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In their usual analysis of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in Jornal da Noite, SIC columnists José Milhazes and Nuno Rogueiro highlight the withdrawal of troops from Severodonetsk, Lavrov’s statement, and the statement of a Russian neo-Nazi group.

Nuno Rogueiro reports that the soldiers who have already begun to leave Severodonetsk are heading to Lisichansk, the only point in the Luhansk region, which is still controlled by the Ukrainians.

“The withdrawal began yesterday [quinta-feira]continues, apparently without casualties. They managed to get out without being surrounded or captured,” he says.

If in Lugansk the Ukrainians practically no longer offer resistance, then in Kherson they may find themselves in a “situation of superiority” over Russian forces, Nuno Rogueiro believes.

Ukrainian troops came close to Kherson, a port city in the south of the country. Although they have not yet entered, and contrary to what is happening in the Donbass, the ratio of Ukrainian and Russian forces is “1.5 to 1,” the SIC observer explains.

“Ukrainians have a situation of equality or even superiority here,” says Nuno Rogueiro.

José Milhazes highlights Lavrov’s speech, accusing the head of Russian diplomacy of “putting his feet on his hands.”

“Firstly, this suggests that Ukraine’s accession to the European Union does not carry anything fundamental. It goes on to say that the EU and NATO are preparing for war with Russia. Then they look for examples from World War II, compare the EU and NATO with Hitler“, He says.

This is another reference from Russia to the Nazis, but there is a group “which the Russians don’t talk about”Milhazes says.

“There is a Russian neo-Nazi group that has been fighting in the Donbas since 2015, and today a statement spread within the organization itself became known. They admit that during the fighting they commit “stupid things”, and if they do “stupid things”, they must eliminate witnesses who saw what they were doing. Civilians This is nothing but the encouragement of barbarism,” he concludes.

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Bank of Portugal sees risk of falling house prices | Bank of Portugal

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After four months of war in Ukraine and at a time when inflation reaches its highest level in decades, Banco de Portugal (BdP) is raising the tone of its financial stability risk warnings. Among the main risks now is the possibility of a “significant correction in market prices for residential real estate”, a scenario that, if confirmed, could have a direct impact on banks’ balance sheets.

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World’s largest bacteria found in Caribbean swamps

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Scientists have discovered the world’s largest bacterium in a Caribbean swamp, which, unlike most, is not microscopic and can be seen with the naked eye, according to Science magazine.

The thin white thread, about the size of a human eyelash, is “by far the largest bacteria known to date,” said Jean-Marie Folland, a marine biologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-author of the paper citing the discovery. made.

Olivier Gros, a co-author and biologist at the University of the French West Indies and Guyana, discovered the first specimen of this bacterium, named Thiomargarita magnifica, or “magnificent sulfur pearl,” clinging to underwater leaves in the Guadeloupe archipelago in the Caribbean. Sea, 2009

The scientist did not immediately determine that this is a bacterium, due to its surprisingly large size, since these bacteria reach an average length of 0.9 centimeters.

Only more recent genetic analyzes have shown that the organism is a single bacterial cell.

“This is an incredible discovery. It raises the question of how many of these giant bacteria exist in the world and reminds us not to underestimate bacteria,” said Petra Levin, a microbiologist at the University of Washington who was not involved in the study. .

Olivier Gros also found bacteria attached to oyster shells, rocks and glass bottles in the marshes of Guadeloupe.

Scientists haven’t been able to grow it in the lab yet, but researchers say the cell has an unusual structure for bacteria.

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The principal difference is that it has a large central compartment, or vacuole (a cavity in cellular protoplasm), which allows some cellular functions to be carried out in this controlled environment rather than in the entire cell.

“The acquisition of this large central vacuole definitely helps the cell bypass the physical limitations (…) of cell size,” said Manuel Campos, a biologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research who was not involved in the study.

The researchers also noted that they are not sure why the bacterium is so large, but co-author Jean-Marie Folland suggested that it may be an adaptation to help it avoid being eaten by smaller organisms.

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