WHO expert warns of ‘over 500k’ Covid deaths in Europe by Spring
Tarn-et-Garonne in France took the decision to cancel its annual Christmas party, where family and friends gather ahead of the festive period. Jean-Louis Ibres, the mayor, said: “A fortnight ago, we thought we would be able to do it, but with the recent upsurge in the transmission of Covid-19, we thought we were risking exposing the children and the elderly.”
In this area, the rate of coronavirus cases is 223 per 100,000 inhabitants.
But it is not only this town hall which is affected by the rising cases.
Although Christmas markets will remain open, there will now be a need for a health pass to gain entry.
Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, spoke at a press conference about the fight against the fifth wave of covid.
He said: “For the Christmas markets, their access will be subject to a health pass.”
France are facing a bleak Christmas this year
Christmas trees in the French capital of Paris
Mr Veran also mentioned masks would be making a comeback in France.
He said: “from tomorrow (Friday), a decree will make it compulsory to wear a mask everywhere indoors in places covered by the health pass.”
Places such as restaurants, bars, museums or cinemas will all be part of this new measure being introduced by the minister.
As festive celebrations are cancelled many in France may be left jealous of the UK’s current situation, after the AstraZeneca vaccine was hailed for potentially helping Britain avoid the dangerous wave currently sweeping Europe.
According to scientists, the UK has been helped to avoid a dangerous wave which is being seen in Europe after Britain opted for use of AstraZeneca – a vaccine which Europe had rejected.
This comes after Nicola Sturgeon announced there would be no expansion of vaccine passports in Scotland.
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Eiffel Tower in St Pancras station
Empty streets in Paris on New Year’s Eve last year
The First Minister told MSPs: “This was a very finely balanced decision.
“However, I can confirm that at this stage we have decided not to extend the scope of the scheme.
“We have taken account of the fact that – although our situation is precarious – cases are currently stable and indeed slightly declining; and we have considered the inevitable impact vaccine certification has on the operation of businesses; and concluded that, at this stage, extension would not be proportionate.
“We were also mindful of the need over the coming weeks of getting across the message that it is important to be vaccinated and tested ahead of socialising in any setting – including in homes and shopping centres, for example – not just in those that might be covered by a certification scheme.”
Although the need for vaccine passports will not be expanded, the need for a negative lateral flow will be introduced on December 6.
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UK Coronavirus map
This new policy will cover live events and nightclubs, rather than the need for vaccine passports which are in place currently.
Proof of double vaccination will still be accepted for entry into nightclubs and live events.
Germany are also feeling the wrath of the wave which is hitting Europe at present.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned citizens they would be “vaccinated, recovered or dead” ahead of the winter months.
Around 30,000 new coronavirus cases hit Germany this week in a space of a 24-hour period.
Emmanuel Macron handing out Christmas gifts
He told reporters: “Probably by the end of this winter pretty much everyone in Germany — as has sometimes been cynically put — will be vaccinated, cured, or dead.
“But this really is the case: With the very contagious Delta variant, it is very, very likely that anyone who is not vaccinated will over the next few months become infected and lack protection.
“In this respect, immunity is always achieved, the question is only whether it is through vaccination or infection. And we clearly recommend vaccination.”
Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Thorsten Lehr, told DW News: “So the numbers are increasing and our calculations say that if nothing happens, we would face the weekly incidences by the end of the month, which would be a way of above 400,000 and more in the region of 500,000.
“The situation has changed compared to last year, we’re now facing a new variant of concern.”