A message is being circulated on social media claiming that several countries across the world have recently imposed new lockdown restrictions amidst the COVID-19 third wave in their countries. This post claims that Canada, Saudi Arabia, Columbia, Spain, and other countries have imposed lockdown once again to control the third wave of the COVID-19 virus. Also, it claims that the COVID-19 third wave shall have a great impact on Indians and recommends a few precautionary measures to protect themselves and their families. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: List of countries that imposed new lockdown restrictions to contain the third wave of COVID-19 virus.
Fact: A similar message is circulating on social media at least since December 2020. According to the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, most of the countries mentioned in the post have eased the lockdown restrictions in their countries. These countries are implementing lockdown with only a few restrictions. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
On searching for the details of the claim made in the post, it is found out that a similar message was circulating on social media at least since December 2020. Old social media posts that shared a similar message about the COVID-19 second wave can be seen here, here, and here.
The Governments in different countries are implementing a wide range of preventive measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To track and compare the policy responses of different countries, Oxford University created a database ‘The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker’. This tool provides the visual representation of the lockdown measures using the ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’, a composite score developed by researchers at Oxford University. ‘Financial Times’ provided the visual representation of the ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ of different countries on their website. Based on this information, let’s check the lockdown measures of different countries mentioned on the list.
On searching for the details of the travel restrictions imposed in Canada, it is found that the Canada Government has extended its COVID-19 restrictions on non-essential international and US travel until 21 July 2021. The Canada Government eased the mandatory two-week quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated nationals and residents arriving in the country after travelling abroad. These travel relaxations do not apply for fully vaccinated foreign nationals, including US citizens.
According to the latest press release by the Canada Government, an average of 815 new cases and 17 deaths reported in the last 7 days. Canada had experienced the third wave of COVID-19 virus during April 2021. The Canada Government had recently identified new delta variant cases in their country. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of Canada was 72.69 (100 = strictest).
In February 2021, Saudi Arabia banned travellers from 20 different countries as a preventive measure to control the spread of COVID-19 second-wave. The Saudi Arabian Government has lifted the travel restrictions on 11 of these 20 different countries in May 2021. The other 9 countries including India are still on the travel ban list. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of Canada is 89.81.
According to an article published by ‘AP News’, the Columbia Government had eased lockdown measures from 02 June 2021 despite fighting a peak rise in the third wave. The Columbia Health Ministry said that Columbia will no longer require a negative coronavirus test from travellers entering the country. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of Columbia is 87.04.
According to the latest reports, Brazil reported 2343 deaths on 23 June 2021 and 2042 deaths on 24 June 2021. The 7-day average deaths in Brazil were reported as 1915. The COVID-19 death numbers in Brazil can be found on the official COVID-19 tracking website of the Brazilian Government. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of Brazil is 81.02.
Amid the rise of the COVID-19 cases, the Spain Government had declared a new Coronavirus state of Emergency in October 2020. The Spanish Government had lifted this state of emergency on 09 May 2021. Celebrating the end of the emergency, Spanish people celebrated, danced, and partied on the streets of Barcelona and other places in Spain. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of Spain is 81.94.
According to the latest reports, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed his plans to lift COVID-19 lockdown measures till 19 July 2021. Amid the fast growth in new cases caused by the Delta Variant, Boris Johnson extended the lockdown measures till July. The British Government is implementing lockdown with only a few restrictions. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of the United Kingdom is 79.63.
According to a latest press release by the France Government, France has lifted most of its lockdown restrictions in their country. The nationwide night curfew in the country was lifted on 20 June 2021. Restaurants, cafes, and bars allowed to serve customers indoors, with 50% capacity and up to six people per table. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of France is 87.96.
In April 2021, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that lockdown and curfew would play a vital role to break Germany’s third wave. Angela Merkel extended lockdown and curfew measures till the end of June. But, Germany had eased several restrictions in these lockdown measures. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of Germany is 64.35.
According to the latest article by ‘BBC’, the Italian Government had lifted the nationwide night curfew from 21 June 2021. Italy had eased most of the lockdown measures imposed earlier to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Oxford University ‘COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index’ score of Italy is 68.52.
Earlier, when a similar message shared with a similar claim, FACTLY published a fact-check article. It can be seen here.
To sum it up, an old message revived again as the new lockdown restrictions in various countries to contain the third wave of COVID-19.