In concert with the governments of the individual states of its country, the federal government of Germany has ordered the lockdown of all the brick-and-mortar stores that sell non-essential products, starting on Wednesday, Dec. 16. The new restrictions came after a spike in new contaminations from Covid-19. They will last until at least Jan. 10. A new meeting with the state governments on Jan. 5 will determine whether the lockdown should be extended further. In any case, the new measures will cause a severe interruption of the normal Christmas shopping process that will benefit online retailers like Amazon or Zalando and retailers that have implemented an omnichannel strategy. The latter are now asking for permission to make home deliveries on Sundays and holidays to avoid logistic problems. Contactless click & collect, which was forbidden during the first lockdown in the spring, will be permitted this time.

In Denmark, the rules have also become stricter on Wednesday, Dec. 16, due to excessively high infection rates. The already imposed partial lockdown for the majority of the population will now be extended to the entire country and thus also to Southern Jutland, which borders Germany. As part of the Danish partial lockdown, restaurants, cafes and pubs will have to remain closed for the time being until Jan. 3, as will indoor cultural and leisure facilities, such as cinemas, museums, gyms and swimming pools. Brick-and-mortar retail may still remain open, but the number of consumers shopping in stationary stores has, of course, been drastically reduced.

Meanwhile, as an update to our coverage of the state of European ski resorts, an appeal against the closure of ski lifts in France over the holidays was rejected by the country’s top administrative body, the Conseil d’État, on Dec. 11. However, Prime Minister Jean Castex has set a tentative reopening date of Jan. 7, local ski area officials report.

Photo: © Anastasia Chepinska on Unsplash