How Europe is increasing the pressure on the unvaccinated

Indoor catering

The pressure is growing that the catering industry strictly controls vaccinations and tests.

(Photo: dpa)

Düsseldorf, Athens, Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Zurich In Hamburg, organizers can decide from this Saturday on: Either they use the 2G model, so only open their doors to those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered, who are then largely exempt from all corona restrictions. Or they continue to use the 3G model, which includes the tested and thus unvaccinated, but is still subject to the previous corona restrictions.

The tendency is clear: for unvaccinated people, the freedom of movement in public spaces should decrease, while the pressure on those who refuse to be vaccinated should increase to allow themselves to be immunized.

It is not only in Germany that the rulers have come to understand: only dynamic vaccination campaigns can break the delta wave. Our correspondents provide an overview of the restrictions that apply to unvaccinated people in other EU countries and describe how governments in Europe are trying to prevent the pandemic from escalating.

Greece: Pharmacists without vaccination are exempted

What is currently causing discussions in Hamburg will be mandatory for all restaurants nationwide in Greece in two weeks: In indoor catering – restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs – the 2G rule will apply from September 13th. Only those who can prove a vaccination against Covid-19 or who have recovered from the infection will have access.

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Stadiums and sports halls are then also taboo for those who have not been vaccinated. The restrictions also apply to foreign tourists. Fitness studios can decide for themselves whether they only let in vaccinated and convalescent people or whether they also accept those who have been tested.
In addition, from September 1st, a vaccination is mandatory for employees in the health care sector and in pharmacies. Anyone who cannot prove at least one vaccination on the cut-off date will be released without payment. Also under discussion is a compulsory vaccination for employees in the armed forces, police and fire brigade as well as for other state employees. Greece has thus issued the most far-reaching restrictions in Europe for people who are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

France: In the long-distance train only with test or vaccination

In France, since July 21, concerts and cultural institutions have only been open to those who have been vaccinated, recovered or those who have been tested. Since August 1st, this also applies to long-distance trains and flights. From autumn the tests will be chargeable. Large shopping centers and restaurants also require a medical pass with the relevant evidence. This has caused the number of vaccinations to rise sharply in the past few weeks. The measures also led to street protests, but the majority of French support them.

Now there is growing pressure for restaurants to strictly control vaccinations and tests. Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire announced that restaurant owners or other companies would no longer receive aid from the state if they did not control. Italy was the first country to introduce de facto mandatory vaccination in the health sector. Unvaccinated people are free.

In France, employees in hospitals and nursing homes have to get vaccinated by mid-September, otherwise they will be released and may no longer be paid. President Emmanuel Macron has announced further restrictions for the unvaccinated.

An important restriction applies to students from the sixth grade: If they are not vaccinated, they should be excluded from lessons for a week if a positive Corona case occurs in the class and they are the contact person.


Belgium: curfew in regions with vaccine disapproval

Belgium is one of the European front runners with a vaccination rate of 68.4 percent, but the regional differences are large. Flanders and Wallonia have high vaccination rates, but in the capital region of Brussels the proportion of those who are fully vaccinated is only 54 percent.

Therefore, the easing will not apply in Brussels from September 1, so that, among other things, the curfew for cafes and restaurants will remain. This is intended to further increase the willingness to vaccinate.
The question of completely denying access to restaurants to non-vaccinated people is currently still very cautiously discussed – but the idea is there.

Switzerland: Corona tests from October onwards for a fee

In Switzerland, too, where the corona incidence has risen to 205, the expense for unvaccinated people is growing in many parts of public life. Visitors to restaurants, bars, gyms, museums and zoos, as well as concerts, theaters and cinemas, must prove that they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested from the end of August. Outside areas are excluded. So far, this so-called 3G rule only applies to discos and dance halls.

At the same time, the federal government is restricting the offer of free corona tests. Anyone who could theoretically be vaccinated will have to pay for the tests themselves from October. Urs Karrer, Vice President of the Covid 19 Scientific Task Force, spoke of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. As the first airline in Europe, Swiss has just issued a mandatory vaccination for pilots and cabin crew.

Impfoffensive in Valencia

Dozens of teenagers are queuing up to get the first dose of Moderna’s corona vaccine. Spain is one of the countries with the highest vaccination rate in the EU.

(Photo: dpa)

Spain and Portugal: vaccination models

With 67 percent fully vaccinated, Spain is one of the countries with the highest vaccination rate in the EU. Experts attribute this to, among other things, the widespread coexistence of several generations. Many young Spaniards cannot afford their own apartment due to the low wages and high unemployment. “Many young Spaniards are therefore afraid that they could endanger high-risk groups like their grandparents if they do not get vaccinated,” says Pablo Simón, political scientist at the Carlos III University in Madrid.

In Portugal, too, 67 percent are fully vaccinated. Sociologist Nuno Augusto from the University of Beira Interior blames the country’s devastating deaths and infections at the beginning of the year. Portugal vaccinated strictly according to age and has now reached the age of 12-15.

In Portugal, a vaccination card is required in areas with a high incidence for indoor restaurant and some other public spaces. “That is also checked,” says Augusto. This includes the capital Lisbon.

More: Access bans for unvaccinated people: What speaks for the 2G rule – and what against it


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