Restrictive measures are being reinstated by local authorities in parts of Europe amid the outbreak of a pandemic that threatens to darken Christmas.
Austria: general isolation and compulsory vaccination
Austria has announced a general quarantine for the entire population, including vaccinated citizens, making it the first European country to reintroduce such a measure to stop the 4th wave.
According to Chancellor Salenberg, this measure will take effect on Monday 22 November and will last a maximum of 20 days. He also said that from February 1, vaccination will become mandatory for the entire population.
Germany is on the verge of isolation
Austria and Germany appear to be communicating vessels in terms of their epidemiological picture and possibly in terms of forthcoming measures. So on Friday afternoon, Health Minister Jens Spahn spoke of “the country’s emergency” and left open the possibility of a new general quarantine, while the head of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wheeler, described the country as a coronavirus outbreak, “referring to the need for the first time since the start of the pandemic, move patients from state to state due to an excessive burden on the health care system.
Germany sends patients abroad
Many German hospitals are within their capabilities amid the coronavirus outbreak.
For example, Munich’s intensive care units (ICUs) have only 3% free beds. Bavaria began transporting patients to hospitals in Italy. According to a representative of the Ministry of Health, these are two people from Freising (Munich region), who were taken to a hospital in South Tyrol. According to Mr. Spahn, his ministry is already in talks with other countries. As he also noted, this is the first time that Germany has agreed to transport patients to foreign countries.
Blocking in Bavaria
As part of a general isolation for areas particularly affected by the coronavirus, “de facto isolation for the unvaccinated,” and extensive statewide restrictions, Bavaria takes effect from the middle of next week and for three weeks, canceling, among other things, all outdoor Christmas holidays. shopping, work of bars and clubs.
“We are blocking, slowing down, strengthening,” said Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Seder, justifying the government’s decisions with the dramatic situation in the region’s hospitals and extremely low vaccination rates.
Especially for areas in Bavaria that are considered the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreaks, Mr. Zender announced a “hard emergency braking”. Only kindergartens and schools, retail trade (assuming one buyer per 20 sq. M.), Nursing homes and rehabilitation centers will continue to work with diagnostic tests. Restaurants, sports and cultural facilities will be closed in these zones, and gatherings of up to five people from two households, with the exception of children under 12, will be allowed. “These measures affect the entire alpine region,” he explained.
As for the rest of the land, from now on, sports and cultural events will be allowed only on a much smaller scale, with only 25% of the maximum capacity and the 2G + rule (access only for vaccinated and recovering people who will have an additional diagnostic test result). The curfew returns at 10:00 pm and all clubs and bars except the Christmas markets close immediately.
Germany: unvaccinated travelers from Greece go to quarantine
Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland have been designated as “high-risk areas” for Germany since Sunday, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
Due to the increase in the number of cases, anyone who arrives in Germany from the above countries and does not have a certificate of vaccination or recovery from the disease will be quarantined for 10 days. However, he will be able to take the test after the 5th day, and, in case of a negative result, he will be released from this unpleasant duty.
France: Recommendation for third dose for people over 40
At a time when the pandemic re-flares up in France, health authorities are recommending lowering the age limit for booster-dose eligible populations 40 and older, according to a press release released today.
The Higher Health Administration (HAS) also recommends giving a booster dose six months after the start of primary vaccination, with “recent studies have indeed shown there are benefits for this age range.”
Currently, in France, revaccination should only be given to persons over 65 and those at risk of serious illness. From December 15, it will be necessary to renew their health passport. Starting December 1, this booster dose will be available to people aged 50–64.
According to Deutsche Welle, ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ, Reuters, AFP