5th wave of Covid-19: containment of the unvaccinated, closures … What restrictions are there in Europe?

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Europe is once again becoming the epicenter of the Covid-19 epidemic. The European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) indicates that several European countries are subject to a worrying health situation.

The Covid-19 epidemic situation continues to deteriorate in the European Union. Europe retakes its crown of thorns “epicenter of the epidemic”: the health situation on the continent is considered “very worrying” in ten countries and “worrying” in another ten, the European agency responsible for diseases said on Friday. Among the 27, Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary and Slovenia are in the category of greatest concern, according to the latest risk assessment from the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC). based in Stockholm.

What worries, beyond the increase in contamination by Covid-19, is the increase in hospitalizations in all health facilities in Europe. The number of deaths remains much lower than during previous pollution waves, while most European countries benefit from good vaccination coverage. La Dépêche du Midi takes stock of the countries where the health situation is considered worrying.

In Austria, towards the confinement of unvaccinated people?

What situation? Austria is alarmed by a record of new infections with the virus: the average number of new daily cases has reached a new record with almost 9,900 cases per day registered now, something unheard of since the start of the health crisis. The incidence rate is particularly high: the country has registered 783 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants during the last seven days. The number of deaths related to the virus remains stable (just over 20 per day). In the field of vaccination, 64% of Austrians have completed their vaccination schedule.

What decisions? Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday, November 12, that he was awaiting the green light from parliament on Sunday for the confinement of people not vaccinated or not cured of the coronavirus domestically, as the country faces a rapid increase in cases. “We are a few days away from having to establish this confinement, the chancellor announced on Thursday in the columns of 7sur7. Two thirds of the people should not suffer because others doubt.”

In Norway, return of the health pass and third dose

What situation? Norway is also experiencing an increase in contamination cases: the average number of new cases has increased by more than 1,000 in the space of three weeks. Norway currently has more than 1,500 new cases every day (in a country of 5.4 million people).

What measures? The Scandinavian country had lifted all its restrictive measures in September. “The government wants to introduce new national measures to contain contagions, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced at a press conference. However, we are not talking about containment or measures as strict as we saw earlier during the pandemic.” The government has given the green light to all municipalities in Norway to use the health pass. Norwegians over the age of 18 can also receive a booster dose of the vaccine. In case of symptoms, the authorities recommend staying home.

In the Netherlands, the curtains were lowered earlier

What situation? Here again, it is the contaminations that are of concern: the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Dutch body responsible for public health (RIVM), registered 16,364 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, November 10. Unheard of since December 20, 2020: the country had registered 12,997 new cases.

What measures? Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave a press conference on Friday together with his Health Minister: new “tough” measures have been announced. In the place, bars, restaurants and essential shops will have to lower the curtains from 8:00 p.m. The other public places must close their doors at 6 pm, at least for the next three weeks. The authorities also want to end public demonstrations and play soccer games behind closed doors. The head of government also affirmed his desire to restrict access to restaurants and entertainment venues for vaccinated people.

In Germany, “difficult weeks and months” in sight

What situation? According to the president of the Public Health Surveillance Institute, Robert Koch (RKI), who spoke on Friday, November 12, Germany must prepare for “difficult weeks and months.” On the site, the incidence rate stands at more than 249.1 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants. The situation is especially worrying in the Länder, where the population is less vaccinated. This is the case in Saxony (where the incidence rate reaches 521 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants), Thuringia (469.2) and Bavaria (427).

This is not without consequences for hospitals: Germany had to transfer patients from the worst affected regions to the better off territories. This resurgence of the epidemic, the authorities attribute, among other things, to a particularly low vaccination coverage: 67% of the German population have completed their vaccination schedule.

What measures? As of Monday, people who are not vaccinated will no longer be able to access restaurants, bars, gyms and hairdressing salons.

Latvia closes non-essential stores on weekends

What situation? This is one of the least vaccinated countries in the European Union. Since November 3, Latvia entered a state of health emergency on November 3, for a period of 3 months. The country has just passed a new wave of contamination (with more than 2,400 new cases every day for a week, the highest since the start of the epidemic).

What measures? The mask is now mandatory in all buildings open to the public. Unvaccinated people can only buy food and basic necessities in certain marked stores. Non-essential businesses are not open on weekends.

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