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



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):


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 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.


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.


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, 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, 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. “


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’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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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.



Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia



A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization



“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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