Stricter lockdown measures in place to curb second COVID-19 wave

by RPP
Weekly European political updates

Stricter lockdown measures in place to curb second COVID-19 wave

Europe is a colourful continent in terms of policies and outcomes. It is essential to stay updated on how these policies may impact your work to build better regulatory frameworks, enhance your message and enhance communication with stakeholders. Here you can find a summary of the major European political updates of this week.    


United Kingdom

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown in England to be implemented on 5 November, to last for an initial month before a return to a tiered lockdown system. The new lockdown represents a near return to the lockdown in spring, though education institutions will remain open.  Prior to the announcement, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had aligned Scotland’s public health approach with England’s, implementing a tiered system developing the UK Government’s. Wales implemented a 17-day circuit breaker lockdown which will end next week, after which Wales will pursue relatively lax national measures representing a return to summer-time restrictions when the pandemic had waned.



On 29 November, the Congress approved a six-month extension of the state of emergency decree, meaning that it will be binding until May 2021. This legal framework implies that regional governments, as delegated authorities, can impose limitations on freedom of movement rights.



Belgium is once again imposing stricter lockdown measures till 13 December in the face of rising COVID-19 infections. Prime minister Alexander De Croo stated that these measures are Belgium’s “last chance”. The new measures imply that visitors are no longer allowed to be received at home except for one ‘cuddle contact’ (or two in the case of people living alone). Schools will remain closed until 15 November and teleworking is now mandatory.



The government has introduced additional restrictions to reduce the increasing infection rate, which include mandatory mask use and restricting gatherings in public to 6 people, amongst others. Enforcement has also tightened, with police giving out a substantial number of fines to non-mask wearers and establishments who failed to comply with COVID-19 regulations. In other news, on 5 November, Cyrus Engerer was appointed in a casual election to replace former MEP Miriam Dalli, amongst another 6 candidates who put forward their nomination to the Maltese Electoral Commission.



On 2 November, it was announced that current Prime Minister Mark Rutte wants to continue as party leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and therefore also as Dutch prime minister in the next governing period. He has expressed in an interview published in one of the main media outlets de Telegraaf that he wants to continue leading the pandemic and its consequences in the coming future. The exact dates of the national elections in March are currently being discussed.


You can find more information on European news in our EU national elections heatmap, where we provide an overarching perspective with key political insight for individual countries. Make sure to check it here


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