More and more countries are lifting restrictions despite the high number of cases.
As of today, it will no longer be necessary to present the COVID certificate to eat in bars or restaurants or go to the gym in Barcelona.
There will also be no limit of ten people for private meetings.
Nightlife will remain closed.
A disease that comes to stay
With one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe, Spain is preparing to treat the coronavirus as a disease that is here to stay and not as an emergency.
It is about moving from crisis to control, tackling the virus like the flu or measles.
Accepting that there will be contagion, people at higher risk and patients with complications will be the priority.
Some restrictions remain in Catalonia
In Catalonia, Omicron forced to reinstate the curfew at Christmas.
Some restrictions, such as wearing a mask outdoors, remain for now.
The authorities thus try to prevent the collapse of the health system.
Denmark removes some measures
Denmark will also eliminate some restrictions in February, although it maintains others.
In workplaces there will continue to be hydralcolic gel, distance and self-tests.
The increase in reinfections in the coming weeks could have catastrophic consequences on production. Companies fear being left without staff.
Some experts believe the reopening is rushed and that maintaining some restrictions would prevent a spike in infections. Until now, companies can request the COVID certificate from their employees.
More than 50,000 people tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, in a country where concerts are reopening.
More and more experts and countries are betting on living with the virus
In Germany, daily cases remain under control despite the new wave of infections, which broke records according to the Minister of Health.
Daily cases reached 200,000 for the first time and are expected to double before falling again in mid-February.
A fall that could come a little later due to the Omicron mutation known as BA.2.
Today another record of infections has been reached, with more than 1,000 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in one week.
Infections in older people, many of whom remain unvaccinated, is much lower than average. And the Omicron variant is somewhat below predictions, according to the minister.
It is still too early to relax the restrictions, at least until this new wave breaks. A very realistic perspective for Karl Lauterbach, German Minister of Health:
“I think that at the moment we have Omicron under control in Germany. It is a wave that cannot be controlled, but its consequences can. That is our goal. We want to minimize it.”
Russia breaks a new record of cases
Russia breaks a new record for cases and exceeds 700,000 deaths according to new data from the state statistics service, Rosstat.
More than 54,000 people died of COVID or related causes in December, after fatalities reached nearly 90,000 in November, making Russia the country with the second-highest death toll in the world, behind the United States.
Russian authorities have confirmed more than 98,000 new cases of coronavirus. According to the Kremlin, the figure would be much higher if the Omicron variant continues to make its way across the country.
On Friday, more than 98,000 new infections were registered in 24 hours, in a country that in recent weeks has had the highest number of infections during the pandemic.
Russian authorities avoid further restrictions
Infections in Russia started to rise three weeks ago, with daily new case numbers rising from 15,000 in early January to almost 10,000 now.
The authorities, however, avoid imposing further restrictions and ensure that the health system is coping with the admission of patients.
Earlier this month, parliament indefinitely postponed a decision to introduce restrictions on unvaccinated people, a move unpopular with those who hesitate to get vaccinated.
Just this week, the health authorities have shortened the period of confinement for those who have been in contact with COVID patients from 14 to 7 days, without offering any explanation for the decision.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.