Unvaccinated people face more restrictions as European nations act to stem rising infections
European countries are taking action to tackle the latest wave of Covid as winter approaches.
Infections have been rising across parts of the continent, with some countries experiencing a record number of daily cases in recent weeks.
The World Health Organization (QUI) said that Europe was the only region in the world where Covid-related deaths increased last week after a rise of 5 pour cent.
Restrictions have been stepped up for unvaccinated people in some parts of Europe, including with a targeted lockdown in Austria, while people have been urged to work from home in a bid to control infections in time for winter.
Here is a round-up of what European countries are doing as they try to curb the spread:
Millions of unvaccinated people across the nation were sent into lockdown on Monday in Austria, which is grappling with one of the highest infection rates in Europe.
Anyone older than 12 years old who has not been jabbed against Covid or recently been infected is now banned from leaving the house unless it is for a list of activities, such as to go to work, go shopping or for a walk.
Officials have vowed to step up police patrols and can fine unvaccinated people caught breaking the rules up to €1,450 (£1,217).
Covid cases in Austria, where around 65 per cent of the population have been vaccinated, reached a new daily record on Wednesday, passing 14,000 for the first time during the pandemic.
A partial lockdown came into force in the Netherlands last weekend – the first to be introduced in Europe since the latest wave of infections to hold.
Supermarkets, non-essential shops, cafes and nightclubs must shut earlier under the latest rules and the public have been told to work from home wherever possible.
The country reported more than 110,000 cas – a seven-day record – in the week ending 16 novembre.
Politicians are also debating whether to tighten entry to public venues to just those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid.
National and regional leaders are meeting on Thursday to decide on measures to curb the spread of Covid.
Those being put on the table include greater freedom to work from home, as well as a requirement for proof of vaccination, recent recovery or a negative test to use public transport and go to work.
It comes as a leading public health official warned the country faced a “really terrible Christmas” if measures were not stepped up.
Parts of Germany – including the capital Berlin – are already demanding proof of vaccination or recent recovery from Covid-19 for all indoor leisure activities.
Belgians were told to work from home for four days a week and younger children told to wear face masks in crowded spaces as measures were stepped up on Wednesday in response to rising infections.
Masks or a negative Covid test are also needed in nightclubs, restaurants and bars, on top of proof of vaccination.
Even though the country’s daily case tally has topped 20,000 for the first time in months this week, the government has insisted tougher measures are not on the cards at the moment.
But the government’s top scientific advisor said this week there may be greater homeworking to come.
There are plans to introduce Covid vacccine passes for large indoor events – attended by over 100 gens – amid fears infections could rise in the same way as in European neighbours.
“The spread is increasing in Europe. We haven’t seen it yet in Sweden, but we are not isolated,” the health minister said on Wednesday. “We need to be able to use vaccination certificates.”
The health minister has urged companies to not go ahead with traditional Christmas parties and for employees to work from home where possible.
He said he would put forward new measures to be approved by the government on Thursday.
The key proposal is unvaccinated people – who have not recently recovered from Covid – will no longer be allowed to attend public events, go to bars and restaurants or use hotels with a negative test result.
The government is set to vote on new measures on Thursday, which would ban unvaccinated people from non-essential shops, gyms and large gatherings.
Regional governments are asking for court permission to introduce Covid passports to restrict entry to nightclubs, bars and restaurants to those who have been vaccinated.
Its rate of inections has been rising steadily since the end of last month.
Rapports supplémentaires par les agences