NICOLA Sturgeon has today redrawn Covid rules and let the public know what our second coronavirus Christmas is likely to look like.

This includes new restrictions on household mixing, renewed emphasis on working from home, and a return to whole household isolation when one person tests positive.

All of this has been brought in as a response to the march of the Omicron variant.

It's progressing across other populations too. Here we look at the situation in three of our European neighbours: Ireland, Sweden and Germany.


RESTRICTIONS in the Republic of Ireland were tightened one week ago. Nightclubs have closed and social distancing is back in for venues including restaurants, pubs and hotels.

Masks remain compulsory in indoor venues and capacity in these, and sports stadia, has been slashed to 50%. To get in, punters need a health pass. and workers have been told to stay at home unless attending their usual place of work is "absolutely necessary".

Taoiseach Micheal Martin as said the risk of entering the festive period without limiting social contacts is "just to high" as hospitals bear the increased pressures of higher infection rates.

However, the Department for Education has so far resisted calls to close schools early.


THE Scandinavian nation has been an outlier for much of the pandemic, choosing not to initiate the kinds of curbs on movement and socialising that have been seen elsewhere.

However, that's not to say no steps have been taken there, and indeed some changes were announced earlier this month due to the onset of Omicron.

Covid passes proving the holder's vaccination, recovery or negative test status has so far only been used for travel purposes, but will now need need for attendance at an event with more than 100 people.

Last month the Swedish government said it'd no longer be testing fully vaccinated people for Covid. However, this has now been reversed.


A VACCINE mandate is now in place for hospital and healthcare workers, with people who have not been jagged now excluded from cinemas, restaurants and shops selling non-essential goods.

The government, which also recommends limited contact with other households, wants to push vaccination rates up to a minimum of 75%. Currently, it's less than 10% shy of that proportion.

In Berlin, Berlin, those who haven't been jagged won't be able to go to Christmas markets, and there are limits the volume of crowds allowed at public gatherings. The capital's nightclubs will stay open but patrons won't be allowed to dance.

And in states with high case rates, including Saxony, Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria, there's a return to closed-door football matches.