A Brief Look At European COVID-19 Public Containment Policies

I thought that it would be interesting to briefly look at the various kinds of Coronavirus containment measures being enacted in Europe. This is not meant to be an exhaustive, in-depth analysis. I merely intend to provide you with an overview of the current state of affairs. I will first start off with what is going on in the USA, and then proceed to Europe from there. Let's get to it.

1. USA

The US has not yet instituted a nationwide lockdown in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, nor has it restricted state-to-state travel (state borders have not been closed). The CDC has advised all individuals to stay home, and practice social distancing; however, in the majority of states, these measures are simply encouraged and not enforced. Thus far, states that have implemented stay-at-home orders include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Restaurants, bars, and other areas designated for public gatherings have been closed to the public. The national guard has also been activated in the most disaster affected states.

2. UK

Across the pond in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued a stay-at-home order over the whole of England. According to Johnson, "From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction -- you must stay at home. Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households...People will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes." Those limited purposes include: exercise, shopping for food, doctor visits and caring for a vulnerable individual, and essential work. These strict measures will be enforced by the police, and if citizens fail to follow the guidelines, they can be fined.

3. France

France has recently entered a two-month state of emergency, issued by the nation's government. Similar stay-at-home orders as in England have been enforced, and citizens will only be allowed to leave their residences for one hour per day to participate in physical exercise within a 0.6 mile radius. French citizens will also be demanded to "mark the time they leave home on a special form they need to carry when venturing outside."There are also strictly enforced curfews, limited travel mobility, and grand penalties for those who do not follow the law. For example, "Sanctions for infringing lockdown rules have been beefed up under a health emergency bill swept in Monday. Fines now range from€135 to€3,700 euros ($3,960). Repeat offenders (four or more breaches within 15 days) face a six-month prison term."

4. Italy

Italy, Europe's COVID-19 epicenter, has responded dramatically to the crisis. In addition to strict stay-at-home orders and similar restrictions mentioned above, Italians have also been barred from moving across municipalities. At grocery stores, a limited amount of shoppers are allowed inside at a time, and exercise time outside has been cut down to limit in person exchanges of any kind. According to the Guardian, "People out for a walk were fined if they broke the rules and wandered into a park or stopped to take pictures of historic scenes of a city without any people."

5. Sweden

Sweden has recently announced that it will up its containment game. As of now, Sweden continues to allow gatherings of under 500 individuals, children continue to attend school, and bars and restaurants continue to stay open.

6. Russia

President Vladimir Putin recently announced that any citizen that violates quarantine laws can face up to 7 years in jail and harsh fines. Moreover, New rules imposed by Moscow's city government state that any citizens entering the country from China, South Korea, Iran, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, or other highly infections epicenters, must self-quarantine for 14 days. Furthermore, according to the latest news from The Times of Moscow, "The republic of Chechnya has become the first Russian region to close all restaurants, cafes and "crowded places" after it registered its first three coronavirus infections, the region's leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced. He said some restaurants popular with tourists would be allowed to stay open."

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