Europe is on lockdown with COVID Winter is coming for all of us

ROME — As hospitals and morgues begin to fill up again, Europe is once again heading for another COVID-19 winter from hell. But rather than wait until things get out of control, many countries are now taking precautions, with closures and mandatory vaccinations, to try to save the Christmas holidays. . The United States, which recently reopened travel to Europeans and where just over 68% of the total population is fully vaccinated, can take note as there is little doubt that the next wave is on its way. .

Both Austria and the Netherlands are setting up revised national lockdown orders — for vaccinated and unvaccinated people — to try to avoid what is happening in Germany, where there are currently 65,000 infections. new daily.

In Austria, where vaccination rates are below 64 percent, this week’s lockdown on the unvaccinated will be extended to include everyone as of Monday. The government also announced on Friday that a vaccine against COVID would soon become mandatory for the entire population — the strictest rule ever in Europe. Prime Minister Alexander Schallenberg said: “This is an impressive step forward. “In the long run, the way out of this vicious cycle that we’re in — and it’s a vicious circle, we’re stumbling from wave to wave of lockdown, and that can’t continue to be advertised. — just vaccinations.”

According to European health authorities, only 60% of people in Western Europe are fully vaccinated and of those, only a small percentage receive booster shots, which has led to the present threat. Spain, Italy and France are leading the way and are providing the current booster for most of the general population six months after their last shot in an effort to prevent unvaccinated people from spreading the virus to people with low immunity.

The World Health Organization has warned that COVID-19-related deaths across Europe are now increasing at a rate of about 5% a week, against a global trend where people who eat a lot do not. necessarily lead to more deaths.

Germany, which has a 67% vaccine rate, is in a state of emergency, with tough restrictions currently in place. “We are now heading towards a serious emergency,” said Lothar Wieler, director of Germany’s disease control agency. “We’re going to have a really terrible Christmas if we don’t take countermeasures now.” Measures in place include proof of immunizations, COVID recovery, or a negative swab test for entry to most entertainment venues. New restrictions could extend that to workplaces.

In Italy, where 84% of the population is fully immunized and the place hardest hit when the pandemic first broke out in China, a vaccine or a negative COVID test is mandatory for anyone. commuting to work, dining in the house or traveling any long distances by train. or bus. Italy has never lifted the mask requirement for all indoor spaces, and while the number is slowly creeping up — up to 10,000 new cases a day for three days running — health authorities say The situation is still under control. They will follow a three-tier formula for restrictions. Health authorities said on Friday, four provinces in the north of the country face yellow zone restrictions, which will mandate the wearing of masks outdoors as well as indoors and will limit restrictions. indoor dining for four people at a table.

In Ireland, where 90% of the population over the age of 12 is fully immunized, measures will come into force to encourage people to work from home when possible and make it mandatory for everyone to show a COVID-19 card to know that they have been vaccinated or recovered. , for cinemas and theaters. Entertainment venues will also have to close at midnight.

Belgium, where hospital admissions are increasing by 30% per week, will also ask people to work from home at least four days a week from November 22 to try to contain the spread of the virus. The country is also applying mask regulations to all public places, replacing previous vaccination cards to exempt people from wearing masks in venues with more than 50 people indoors or 100 people outdoors. . The country will also start vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11.

France, where 76% of the population is fully immunized, has seen the number of cases increase but the number of hospitalizations and deaths have remained stable. The country will require additional injections for everyone over the age of 65 by mid-December or their health cards that allow them to enter restaurants and other entertainment venues will be cancelled. Health Department spokesman Gabriel Attal said: “Today we are in a better grip than other countries not only because our vaccination rates are higher and booster shots are progressing, but also because We did the medical procedure very early on,” said Department of Health spokesman Gabriel Attal. “The number of critical care hospitalizations and deaths is nine times higher among unvaccinated individuals than in vaccinated individuals.”

The UK, whose vaccination rate accounts for about 68% of its total population, has seen fewer hospitalizations and deaths as the numbers rise compared to mainland Europe. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned: “I am seeing storm clouds gathering over parts of mainland Europe. “We’ve been here before and we remember what happens when a wave starts rolling in.” Europe is on lockdown with COVID Winter is coming for all of us


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