Select a location
Low < 50
Medium 50 – 69
High 70+
Select a location

Austria

Low < 50
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Low - 44
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Stores, hospitality businesses, events for up to 100 people and tourist overnight stays are permitted. Beginning 1 July, events of up to 250 people will be permitted.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: No guidance. Some subsidies expected until the end of the year, but not clear yet.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, subject to consent and satisfying GDPR requirements.
 
Relevant guidance: Official regulation about the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions, published on 30 April (and updated since then): here

Belgium

Medium 50 – 69
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Medium - 50
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Phased exit strategy in place since 4 May
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Extension and increase of “temporary unemployment benefit due to Covid-19” until 31 August 2020.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? No. While employers may be able to conduct a test, employees who refuse to take test cannot be denied entry to the workplace.
 
Relevant guidance: Guide produced by trade unions and employer’s organisations regarding health and safety at work and preventative measures: here (In English): here

Czech Republic

Low < 50
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Low - 42
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Most restrictions have been lifted. Cultural, sporting, and other events may be organised but are limited to maximum 500 people.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: The “Antivirus” support from the state has been extended to 31 August. Other forms of support after 31 August are expected.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, subject to satisfying GDPR requirements and employees being informed about the scope and manner of checks.
 
Relevant guidance: See here.

Denmark

Medium 50 – 69
Last updated: 26 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Medium - 63
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Phased timetable for lifting lockdown, running from 11 May to early August.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Employer support to end from 29 August.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? No clear guidance yet, but unlikely as this will probably be considered disproportionate, unless employee’s presence at workplace poses high risk of transmission.
 
Relevant guidance: The Danish authorities have prepared guidance for all employers: click here

Finland

Low < 50
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Low - 30
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Use of emergency powers lifted since 16 June, though some restrictions and recommendations remain in place. Public outdoor events of more than 500 people allowed from 1 July with certain restrictions.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Current support measures are in force until 31 December 2020.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, subject to consent and satisfying GDPR requirements.
 
Relevant guidance: Official guidelines for workplaces to prevent coronavirus infection: click here

France

Medium 50 – 69
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Medium - 66
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Gradual lifting of restrictions since 11 May
 
Timetable for ending employer support:  Not known.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? No; strongly discouraged by Government.
 
Relevant guidance:
National Protocol from the Ministry of Work about returning to work: click here

Germany

Medium 50 – 69
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Medium – 55
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Lockdown largely lifted. The joint approach has been cancelled and all 16 federal states follow own timetable.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Loan and fiscal measures for employers until 31 December. Short-time work compensation can be granted for 12 months.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Unlikely; this will probably be considered disproportionate, unless agreement with works council.
 
Relevant guidance: The new SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Standard, as enacted on 16 April, which has to be observed by employers: click here
 

Ireland

High 70+
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: High - 72
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Phased approach reviewed on 3 week basis. Phase 3 began on 29 June and includes reopening of most workplaces.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Wage Subsidy Scheme due to end in August.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, subject to consent and satisfying GDPR requirements. Temperature checking recommended in protocol.
 
Relevant guidance: An official protocol has been published by the Irish government: click here

Italy

Low < 50
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Low - 39
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Most restrictions lifted since 3 June. Particularly high-risk activities (sports with contact etc.) still on lockdown.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: First short-time work program comes to an end on 31 August. Additional four weeks’ short-time work can be used during September and October (if not used before). Discussions ongoing re: possible further extensions.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, subject to GDPR requirements.
 
Relevant guidance: Protocol issued by Government and trade unions outlining measures: click here

Netherlands

Medium 50 – 69
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Medium - 59
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Most restrictions lifted on 1 July. Social distancing (1.5m) remains.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: The current “NOW” and “NOW 2.0” programmes will run sequentially until October 1.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? No; Dutch authority has suggested this is not compliant with GDPR, unless agreement with works council.
 
Relevant guidance: Official government guidelines on hygiene: click here

Norway

Low < 50
Last updated: 28 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Low - 34
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Gradual lifting of restrictions took place from 20 April to 15 June.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Lay-off relief to apply until end of October. Support relating to fixed costs prolonged until end of August.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, subject to risk assessment being made on individual basis (including workplace risks).
 
Relevant guidance: General guidance from Norwegian Institute of Public Health: click here

Poland

Medium 50 – 69
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Medium - 51
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Most businesses can now operate subject to mandatory sanitary safety rules.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Not known.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, but should not be mandatory, and is subject to data privacy rules.
 
Relevant guidance: Official government guidance on social distancing measures: click here

Portugal

High 70+
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: High - 71
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: From 1 July, restrictions in most places are being lifted, while social distancing measures remain in place. In Lisbon metropolitan area, home confinement remains mandatory. Business opening hours are restricted in some areas.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Government support extended until 30 September, provided mandatory requirements are fulfilled. New support measures have been approved: (1) until December; (2) a one-off in July; (3) for a period of six months.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes. A record of temperatures may be kept after employee’s consent.
 
Relevant guidance: Recommendation by Portuguese authorities: click here
 

Romania

Medium 50 – 69
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Medium - 50
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: On 18 May, the state of emergency was replaced with the state of alert. However, several measures/restrictions remain in place. The state of alert was extended for 30 days on 17 June.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: New measures introduced: (a) Unemployment allowance available to employers in sectors where restrictions continue, until restrictions end; (b) Partial salary reimbursement from state for up to 3 months for employees returning to work. (c) Support available for up to 12 months to encourage recruitment.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, mandatory at the beginning of the work shift and whenever it is necessary during the work shift.
 
Relevant guidance: Guidance issued by authorities on preventative measures applicable at workplaces, open space offices and tourism accommodation facilities: click here

Spain

Low < 50
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Low - 38
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: The State of Alarm was lifted on 21 June.  
 
Timetable for ending employer support: “Temporary lay-off scheme”, Social Security exemptions and unemployment benefit scheme to end on 30 September, subject to requirements. 
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Not yet known – this requires a prior determination from the Ministry of Health, which has not yet provided guidance.
 
Relevant guidance: Regulation on urgent prevention, containment and coordination measures: click here
Guidance on workplace best practices: click here.
Sector-specific guidance: click here.

Sweden

Low < 50
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Low - 46
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: N/A (no lockdown in place)
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Special rules relating to furlough / temporary lay-offs come to an end on 31 December.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, subject to consent and satisfying GDPR requirements.
 
Relevant guidance: The Swedish Public Health Agency’s regulations and guidelines:  Click here.

Switzerland

Low < 50
Last updated: 26 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Low - 39
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Next easing of restrictions expected to take place from August 31.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: Emergency short-time work legislation ends on 31 August, but short-time work compensation available indefinitely for businesses affected by COVID-19.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, presumably (although there is no case law on this), subject to compliance with data protection requirements.
 
Relevant guidance: Guidance on recommendations for work environments from Federal Office of Public Health: Click here.
 

Turkey

Medium 50 – 69
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: Medium - 68
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Gradual lifting of restrictions from 9 June.

Timetable for ending employer support:  Allowance support continues for three months from date of application (can be extended for up to six months).

Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, subject to consent and satisfying requirements of Turkish data protection law.

Relevant guidance: Guidance from Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services here, and from Turkish Standards Institute here.

 

United Kingdom

High 70+
Last updated: 29 June 2020
 
Current lockdown severity: High - 73
 
Timetable for lifting lockdown: Gradual easing of restrictions, with a substantial re-opening of various sectors on 4 July. Further easing of restrictions yet to be announced, but further re-opening expected later in July.
 
Timetable for ending employer support: UK “furlough scheme” to continue until 31 October 2020. Furlough scheme closed to new entrants from 1 July. New “flexible furlough” scheme in operation from 1 July.
 
Can employers require temperature checks before permitting re-entry to workplace? Yes, this is lawful, subject to the employer obtaining the employee’s consent and satisfying the requirements of the GDPR.
 
Relevant guidance: Official UK Government “recovery strategy” published on 11 May: click here. Additional guidance on working safely during coronavirus: click here.

Across Europe, countries are taking steps to “unlock” their economies and implement protocols for businesses to reopen and for employees to return to the workplace. With COVID-19 affecting countries across Europe to varying degrees, and with each country taking its own approach, the protocols being followed in each country are quite different. Navigating these protocols and complying with the local requirements in each country is a difficult challenge for multinational employers with a presence across Europe.
 
This map is intended to help you understand the current state of play in each country. Clicking on each country on the map of Europe above will display an overview of that country’s current lockdown status, including a timetable for the loosening of restrictions, ending employer financial support, links to official guidance on social distancing measures and the lawfulness of conducting temperature checks on employees.
 
For a more detailed overview (free of charge) or for further information about the reopening measures in a particular country, please contact your usual Littler lawyer.

To assess the relative severity of lockdown measures in each country, we have referred to the rating system used in the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (Hale, Webster, Petherick, Phillips and Kira, 2020). Note that the “Low/Medium/High” gradings we have given are our own, based on the number ratings, and are intended as a means of relative comparison (Low < 50 / Medium 50 – 69 / High 70+).
 
The materials available on this page provide high-level guidance only and are not a substitute for taking legal advice. This area of the law is rapidly developing, and while we make efforts to update this page as the law changes, we cannot guarantee that the content is current for all jurisdictions.