The expansion of new variants of the coronavirus around the world is forcing many countries to take additional restrictions.

The new American President Joe Biden has thus announced a reinforced ban on entry into the United States.

In France, the week will be decisive for a new confinement.

Follow the evolution of the situation live.


Worried about the spread of new variants of the coronavirus, several countries, such as the United States, France or Israel, have imposed entry restrictions on their territory, a tightening of health measures which is causing demonstrations, especially in the Netherlands where clashes have pitted opponents of the curfew and the police.

In France, the prospect of a new confinement is now openly mentioned as probable.

Everything will depend on the evolution of the epidemic in the first days of the week.

Follow the evolution of the situation live.

The main information to remember:

- The United States toughens the conditions for entry into its territory

- The week will be decisive in France to know if a new confinement will be imposed

- Many countries tighten health restrictions in the face of new variants

Joe Biden announces tougher US entry restrictions

President Joe Biden will re-impose a ban on entering the United States on Monday on most non-US citizens who have visited Britain, Brazil, Ireland and much of Europe, an official said of the White House.

Joe Biden will also extend this ban to travelers who have recently traveled to South Africa due to reports that new, more transmissible variants of the coronavirus are emerging in the United States, the official added.

This decision by the Democratic president is part of the new administration's plan to fight the Covid-19 epidemic which is blazing in the most affected country in the world, both in terms of infections (25.1 million) and deaths ( over 419,000).

He estimated on Friday that the death toll from the disease in the United States "should reach much more than 600,000".

Decisive week for a reconfinement in France

The health situation continues, slowly but surely, to deteriorate in France.

The country now has 73,049 dead since the start of the pandemic.

Above all, the number of patients hospitalized for Covid-19 on Sunday crossed the 26,000 mark, the highest since December, of which nearly 3,000 are in an intensive care unit, a figure which has refused to drop for several days, according to data from Public Health France.

French hospitals welcomed 26,357 patients with Covid-19 on Sunday, against 25,864 on Saturday and 25,235 seven days ago. 

Faced with this situation, the hypothesis of a third confinement becomes more and more likely.

According to information from Europe 1, three scenarios are on the table, depending on the figures for the first days of the week: a maintenance of the curfew, an adapted re-containment as in the fall, or a stricter containment, including in particular an extension of the February school holidays.

A defense council will be held on Wednesday morning to take one or the other of the decisions.


A decisive week to decide whether or not to re-contain

In any case, the economic consequences of the health crisis continue to be felt.

Faced with the prospect of a white season in the resorts, ski equipment manufacturers are thus anticipating a crisis that could last.

More broadly, with the introduction of entry restrictions into the country on Sunday, with the mandatory presentation of a negative PCR test dating back less than 72 hours, tourism professionals deplore a new blow.

Finally, a third confinement would also be very bad news for traders, already faced with disappointing balances, which they attribute to the curfew.

Restrictions and clashes in the Netherlands and Denmark

Concern about the new variants has led to the tightening of restriction measures in many countries, arousing opposition from a section of the population.

In several cities in the Netherlands, clashes with the police and looting broke out on Sunday during protests against the curfew introduced the day before, and dozens of people were arrested across the country.

In The Hague as in Eindhoven, vehicles and businesses were set on fire.

On Saturday, a Covid-19 screening center was set on fire in Urk, a village in the north of the country.

In Denmark, police arrested three people suspected of setting a model bearing the image of the Prime Minister on fire during a demonstration on Saturday night in Copenhagen.

Thousands of people also demonstrated on Saturday in Madrid, denouncing the "deception" of a virus which, according to some demonstrators, "does not exist".

Reconfinement in Brazil, the Mexican president affected

The second most affected country (at least 217,037 dead) after the United States, Brazil is just starting its vaccination campaign.

After 10 days of nighttime curfew, the state of Amazonas will institute a one-week lockdown from Monday.

Capital of this state in the northwest of the country, Manaus has already experienced more than 3,000 burials during this disastrous month of January, the deadliest since the start of the pandemic, where the outbreak of contaminations overwhelmed hospitals.

Officially, the virus is responsible for almost half of these deaths and it was necessary to launch extension works in the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery, the largest in the city, to accommodate 2,000 to 3,000 more dead. 

In Mexico, where the pandemic has killed more than 146,000, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, 67, announced on Sunday that he had tested positive for Covid-19, but only suffered from "mild symptoms".

Sweden banned for three weeks entry into its territory from Norway on Sunday after an outbreak of an English variant of the coronavirus appeared near Oslo, while extending the same measure with regard to the United Kingdom and from Denmark.

Norway announced on Saturday semi-containment measures in Oslo and its region, the most stringent since the start of the epidemic.

In Austria, wearing the FFP2 mask will become compulsory on Monday in public transport and in shops.

Israel, which has already vaccinated 2.5 million of its inhabitants (out of 9 million) decreed Sunday evening the suspension of international flights until January 31.


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Europe grumbles against laboratories, Germany to experiment with treatment

In Europe, discontent is mounting over the delivery delays announced by AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, called for pharmaceutical companies to be "transparent".

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday that future legal actions announced by Italy will aim to "recover the doses" promised by the two laboratories.

Hit hard by the resurgence of the pandemic, Germany will for its part next week be the first EU country to use the experimental antibody-based treatment administered to former US President Donald Trump when he had been contaminated.

Confined for a week, Portugal, which this weekend recorded records of contaminations and deaths, voted on Sunday in an extraordinary presidential election which saw the re-election in the first round of outgoing President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

With more than 85,000 contagions and nearly 1,500 deaths, Portugal occupies over the past week the first world rank in number of new cases and deaths in relation to its population, exceeded only by Gibraltar.