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Western Europe facing another surge in coronavirus cases

16 July 2021 14:41
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Western Europe facing another surge in coronavirus cases

MOSCOW. KAZINFORM A surge in coronavirus cases is being seen in some Western European countries, according to data published by the World Health Organization.

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Amid the worsening of the epidemiological situation, authorities are being forced to return the previously lifted restrictions and even impose compulsory vaccination for certain categories of the population. Meanwhile, in the eastern part of the region, COVID-19 infections are at a low, TASS reports.

TASS has analyzed the epidemiological situation across Europe and the measures taken to fight the pandemic.

Incidence rate

Specialists explain the growth in coronavirus cases by the spread of the delta strain that has now become the dominant strain in some countries.

The highest increase in coronavirus cases is currently seen in the UK. It reported 42,300 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, which is the highest on record since January 15. The daily growth in infections has been over 30,000 in the country for the past seven days. Spain is also facing an outbreak of coronavirus, reporting 22,600 infections over the weekend. However, by the mid of this week, the numbers declined to 12,500. The Netherlands reported over 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, almost as many as the peak figures of December 2020. Greece reported a daily growth of over 2,000 cases, as many as the peak numbers of April. Portugal is witnessing about 3,000 new coronavirus cases daily, as many as back in February.

France, which saw a decline in the number of infections in June, is now reporting about 5,500 new daily cases. The Czech Republic, which recorded fewer than 100 new cases a day, is now recording 250 daily cases.

In Germany, the figure for new infections hovers at less than 1,000 a day, Sweden reports about 400 daily new cases, while Switzerland - around 300. Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia are stably reporting fewer than 100 or even fewer than 50 new cases a day.

Restrictions

The practice of using vaccination certificates for free access to shops, eateries and recreation facilities is widely practiced in European countries. Russian-and Chinese-made vaccines have not been approved in the European Union for now. Additionally, European countries are regularly reviewing lists of the foreign countries and the conditions on which their residents are granted entry.

In France, people won’t be able to go to restaurants, bars and shopping centers without health passes from August 1, and these passes will become compulsory for passengers of long-distance trains and planes. The health pass is either a certificate of full vaccination, a negative coronavirus test or a medical note certifying that the person has had the coronavirus infection. These passes can be either electronic or paper documents.

The Netherlands has also announced the return of certain restrictions that will stay in place until at least August 13.

Additional restrictions have been imposed in Spanish Catalonia and Galicia. They include a ban on gathering in groups of more than ten people, restricted access to beaches and parks during the nighttime. In Cantabria, local authorities are considering a curfew.

In Portugal, some municipalities have reintroduced a curfew. Guests of hotels must produce either a vaccination certificate or a negative coronavirus test while checking in. Guests of indoor restaurants and cafes will also be let in during the weekend only if they can produce the certificate or a negative test.

In Greece, all indoor facilities, nightclubs and bars, theaters and movie theaters will be open only for those who have been vaccinated until the end of the summer.

Meanwhile, despite a surge in COVID-19 cases, authorities in the UK plan to cancel most of the remaining restrictions from July 19. Theaters, nightclubs and concert halls will resume activity in full, and there will be no caps on attending sports competitions. It will be up to employers to decide on remote work for their employees. Authorities plan to recommend the organizers of mass events to demand vaccination passports, negative coronavirus tests or an antibody status from attendees. Wearing of masks on public transport and social distancing becomes a recommendation rather than a legal requirement in most cases.

Vaccination

Some countries had to impose compulsory vaccination for certain categories of people. However, other European countries are steadfastly opposed to this.

French authorities have decided to enforce compulsory vaccination of medical personnel, workers at homes for the elderly and some other categories.

Greece has announced the start of compulsory vaccination for workers at care homes. From September 1, vaccination will become compulsory for workers of state and private medical establishments.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has stated that he fully supports the idea of compulsory vaccination for certain categories of citizens, but this runs counter to the country’s constitution.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke against compulsory vaccination for certain categories of German citizens. Poland, Croatia and some other European countries also support voluntary vaccination.



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