As Covid cases surge across Europe, many countries imposed new restrictive measures to contain transmission of the pandemic.
Austria declared a lockdown for 20 days beginning Monday as a precautionary measure to prevent a fifth wave of Covid.
Austrian chancellor Alexander Schallenberg put the blame for the country’s record Covid cases on anti-vaccine campaigners. The Government will make Covid vaccinations mandatory from February, 2022.
Germany and Greece are imposing tighter controls on the unvaccinated. German parliament voted to implement new measures, including allowing only vaccinated people or those who have tested negative for Covid to access public transport.
Health minister Jens Spahn said at a news conference that the current situation in the country is more serious than it was a week ago. “We are in a national emergency,” he told reporters. The country’s daily Covid cases hit an all-time high of 65,371 Thursday.
High levels of coronavirus infection have been reported in Poland.
In Belgium, wearing mask indoors for children aged 10 and above has been made mandatory.
In Slovakia, the unvaccinated people will not be permitted to leave their homes starting Monday.
On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of a “hard winter ahead” for Europe.
“This public health emergency is far from being over, and the current rise of cases in most countries in the region, caused by the combination of insufficient vaccination coverage, the easing of preventive measures and the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant, shows that a hard winter is ahead of us,” the UN health agency’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge told media.
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