France election ‘elephant in the room’ in Brussels says Keating
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
The emergence of the Covid variant Omicron towards the end of 2021 signalled a re-escalation of the pandemic for countries from all four corners of the globe. As cases began to rise measures were tightened once more in order to mitigate the impacts of the virus. In Europe, it’s feared most nations have yet to reach the peak of the Omicron wave, with record numbers of daily infections being reported. Here are the latest updates on infections and rule changes to have been made on the continent.
On Thursday evening the French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced France will introduce new vaccine passport rules for visitors to cafes and restaurants from next week.
In a live TV address, he said the new rule will become compulsory for people who want to visit any of those venues.
By the time the measure comes into effect next week, it will coincide with a similar rule in the UK being lifted, which was applied to nightclubs and other large-scale events.
Mr Castex said: “The vaccination pass will come into effect next Monday. This wave is not over, but things are evolving positively.”
On Tuesday, France reported a record number of daily cases, registering nearly half a million new infections.
Until now, a negative Covid test was sufficient for people in France to enter cafes, restaurants and other hospitality businesses.
However, from next week a double vaccination and booster jab will become essential to obtain the necessary passport.
In response to the increase in Covid cases, France had already imposed a number of other strict measures, such as forcing children as young as six to wear masks, and banning individuals from drinking while standing up in cafes or bars.
Mr Castex said these measures will be scrapped within the next two weeks, but stated that vaccinations for 12 to 17 years olds will start on January 24.
He said: “We also need to advance the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11.”
From February 2 French residents will also no longer be required to wear masks outside, with a gradual winding down of people working from home commencing from the same day.
Putin’s Russian assault flotilla heads to English Channel [NEWS]
EU warned of ‘Swiss-Brexit’ as tensions with Bern reach boiling point [INSIGHT]
Nicola Sturgeon fury as SNP blasted for ‘wrong call’ [ANALYSIS]
Meanwhile, on Thursday Austria’s parliament voted to approve making Covid vaccinations mandatory for adults from next month.
In doing so, the country has become the first in Europe to pass such a ruling.
Since November, the Austrian Government has been discussing the legislation as a result of a low take-up in vaccines – compared with other European nations – and growing case numbers.
Indeed, the mandate will now apply to those aged 14 or above as opposed to the minimum age group of 18 plus that was originally proposed.
Pregnant women and those with a medical exemption will not be subjected to the measure.
To make it into law, the bill must pass through the upper house of the Austrian parliament and then be signed off by President Alexander Van der Bellen.
Regular weekend rallies of tens of thousands of protesters have taken place against the proposals since they were first touted
On Tuesday Austria hit a record high of daily cases with more than 27,600 reported.
Source: Read Full Article