1. Catalans venture out to eat again

    Barcelona cafe, 23 Nov 20
    Image caption: Most of Barcelona's cafes and restaurants have reopened

    Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region is easing restrictions, with bars, cafes, restaurants and gyms reopening, having been closed for five weeks.

    But night life is still banned because of a curfew from 10pm, which also applies throughout Spain.

    Catalonia's eating places can only accept 30% of their normal clientele indoors. Cinemas and concert halls are also reopening, but they can only operate half-full.

    Spanish airports now require visitors arriving from “high-risk” countries – including the UK – to present a negative test certificate no more than 72 hours old. If they don't have one they can be fined, and must take an antigen test, which delivers results in about one hour.

    Elsewhere in Europe:

    • In Serbia, the rules are being tightened because of rising infections. All shops and catering outlets now have to close by 6pm. Face masks must be worn indoors and in crowded outdoor areas
    • Neighbouring Croatia is closing nightclubs and banning the sale of alcohol after 10pm
    • Leaders in the 16 German federal states favour extending the current “lockdown light” until 20 December, because they remain worried about the infection rate. Currently eating places and hotels are shut, and social contacts are severely restricted for households.
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  7. Protests as Italy tightens restrictions

    Naples protest, 25 Oct 20
    Image caption: Naples protest: Many small businesses now fear bankruptcy

    A partial lockdown is taking effect in Italy to curb the rising infection rate, with restrictions similar to those in force now in Spain, France and Belgium.

    • Italian bars and restaurants now have to close at 18:00, and gyms, swimming pools, cinemas and theatres will be shut until at least 24 November. Confirmed daily cases have risen above 21,000. There were protests in Naples, with businesses demanding compensation, and protests are planned today in Milan and Turin
    • Spain now has a curfew in force between 23:00 and 06:00, initially for 15 days, but it could be extended to six months. That’s tough in a country where people traditionally eat out at night. Spain has passed one million cases since the crisis began. Regions may now impose travel restrictions, and gatherings of different households are restricted to a maximum of six people
    • The French health authorities say the country may be getting 100,000 new cases daily - twice the official figure. Prof Jean-Francois Delfraissy said the estimated figure included undiagnosed and asymptomatic cases
    • The Czech Republic is among the hardest-hit countries in Europe and an emergency field hospital with 500 beds has just been set up on the edge of Prague. Table service has ended in all food outlets, schools have moved online and all non-essential shops have closed.