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This aggregated population study of 219 regions in 11 European countries investigated the effect of the seemingly quasi-randomly assigned school winter holiday week on excess mortality associated with the COVID-19 pandemic during spring 2020. A secondary aim was to evaluate the impact of stringency and timing of the government responses to the early inflow of infected cases. Methods Regional data on mortality week 14-23 in 2020 compared with the same period 2015-2019 were retrieved fromdoi:10.1101/2020.11.24.20237644 fatcat:hzd3bpg7nzb2lezzr3brfoyxsm