As Europe grapples with Omicron, countries eye stricter curbs post-Christmas

As Europe grapples with the Omicron variant, Iceland and Denmark reported record daily coronavirus cases on Monday.

In Denmark over 15,000 COVID-19 cases were reported as Iceland reported 672 cases in 24 hours. Reports said the Omicron variant has become the dominant strain in Norway.

Governments across Europe have been reimposing curbs with the surge in coronavirus cases despite high levels of vaccination. France and Germany are set to impose stricter curbs.

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The Portugal government confirmed Omicron had become the dominant strain in the country. The new German government is set to impose tighter restrictions post-Christmas limiting public gatherings and a raft of other measures including asking restaurants to close early.   

Amid the surge, Britain recorded over 98,000 COVID-19 cases on Monday with the Omicron variant spreading rapidly. On Christmas Day the country reported 113,628 COVID-19 cases and 108,893 daily cases on December 26 Boxing Day.

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UK is one of the worst-hit countries due to the virus with over 147,800 fatalities and more than 11 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began last year.  

Last Friday the UK had reported 122,186 new coronavirus cases with the Office of National Statistics(ONS) predicting that 1 in 20 Londoners were likely infected with the virus.

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Spain was hit with over 60,000 new COVID-19 cases last Wednesday forcing authorities to impose new curbs. Mask-wearing has been made mandatory in the country amid a steep rise in the infection rate. Meanwhile, Spain’s Catalonia region reimposed night curfew from Christmas Eve due to the presence of the highly contagious Omicron variant. 

(With inputs from Agencies) 

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