UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – The Covid-19 epidemic continues to strengthen in Europe. New measures, new reports and highlights: an update on the latest developments in the pandemic.
France tightens border crossings
France has decided to tighten the conditions of access to the national territory. Since Saturday 13 November, unvaccinated travelers from Belgium over 12 years old must present a negative PCR or antigen test, carried out within 24 hours compared to 72 hours previously. Belgium recorded a 39% increase in new daily contaminations over one week.
These restrictive measures, which also concern Germany, Austria, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, were taken by a decree published last Thursday in Official newspaper to respond to the outbreak of contaminations experienced by these countries since the beginning of the month.
To see also – Austria wants to “give the green light to containment” of the unvaccinated to curb the Covid-19 epidemic
Unvaccinated people confined in Austria
The Austrian Chancellor announced on Sunday the entry into force on Monday of a lockdown for people who have not been vaccinated or who have not recently contracted Covid-19, in an attempt to stem the record number of new cases. “The situation is serious (…). We do not take this measure with a light heart but unfortunately it is necessaryAlexander Schallenberg said at a press conference in Vienna.
About 65% of the population received the two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country, one of the lowest rates in Europe. More than 13,000 new cases were recorded on Saturday in this country of 9.8 million inhabitants, the highest since the start of the pandemic.
Unvaccinated Latvian MPs suspended
Latvian parliament voted in favor of a law which prevents national and local lawmakers who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 from voting, participating in debates and receiving a salary.
Latvia was the first to re-impose lockdown this fall to curb the surge of the new epidemic wave. A peak of 3,206 new cases reported on October 27 was reached but since then new infections have fallen. The country of 1.9 million inhabitants still hopes to increase the percentage of complete vaccination of its population, one of the lowest in the European Union, to 58.1%.
Return of teleworking in Germany
Germany is preparing for a massive return to telework, according to a bill consulted on Sunday by AFP, in an attempt to stem a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the plan to return to telework, German employers will be forced to offer the possibility of working from home in the absence of a “compelling professional reasonTo come to the office. Anyone going to work will also be asked to prove that they are vaccinated or have a negative test.
The reintroduction of the homework rule, which was lifted in early July, comes as Germany faces a worrying resurgence of the epidemic. The number of infections and deaths has risen sharply since mid-October, in a country where the vaccination rate barely exceeds 67%.
Laminated by the Covid, Bulgaria called to the polls
Bulgarians vote Sunday for the third legislative elections of the year, in the middle of the fourth wave of Covid-19 in this country which is the least vaccinated in the European Union. Hospitals are overwhelmed and nearly 200 people die from the coronavirus every day while less than a quarter of the 6.9 million inhabitants are fully vaccinated.
Three Covid patients died overnight from Saturday to Sunday in a hospital fire in Sliven (South-East). The country’s hospitals, often poorly maintained, are currently overwhelmed by the influx of coronavirus patients.
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Morocco strengthens border controls
Morocco, a major tourist country, has decided to strengthen border controls due to the increase in cases of Covid-19 contamination in Europe.
In addition to the compulsory health pass and negative PCR tests, on arrival in Morocco, a double check will be carried out, by thermal cameras and electronic thermometers, as well as by antigenic tests. These measures concern all people coming from the so-called countries of “list B”, Ie France, several EU countries as well as the United Kingdom, Algeria and Tunisia.
Clashes in the Netherlands
Dutch police announced that they had arrested fifteen people on Saturday evening in Leeuwarden, a town in the north of the Netherlands, after clashes with hundreds of people unhappy with the early closure of bars.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Friday the reintroduction of partial containment with a series of health restrictions, to deal with a record number of Covid-19 cases. Bars and restaurants must now close at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT).
To see also – Covid-19: Hundreds of people protest against new restrictions in the Netherlands
Demonstration in Switzerland
Several thousand people demonstrated on Saturday in Geneva against the anti-Covid measures put in place by the federal government and to say no to a law framing anti-Covid measures, which will be submitted to a referendum on November 28.
At the beginning of November, an opinion survey gave the “Yes»69% winner for this vote. The Swiss authorities are trying to mobilize in favor of vaccination while the country has a lower vaccination coverage rate than its neighbors (64.6% of the population fully vaccinated on November 10).
Guadeloupe: air traffic disrupted by anti-pass
Several hundred demonstrators, with firefighters on the front line, according to local media, had mobilized on the access road to the airport, while the tourist season begins in Guadeloupe.
Nearly 5.1 million dead
The pandemic has killed nearly 5.1 million people worldwide since the WHO office in China reported the onset of the disease at the end of December 2019, according to a report calculated on Sunday around 11:00 GMT by the AFP from official sources.
The United States is the country with the most deaths (762,962), ahead of Brazil (611,222), India (463,530), Mexico (291,089) and Russia (255,386). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher than that which is officially established.