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Europe boils over new wave of pandemic, Austria goes to extremes and introduces compulsory vaccination for all, Germany raises restrictions
Written by Sonila ELEZI 20 Nëntor 2021
While the number of people vaccinated compared to last winter worldwide is much higher, paradoxically, mainly European countries are facing record numbers of infections. The immunity created for a year by vaccines and trumpeted so much by all states, today is facing a first test on real efficacy, while the vaccinated are also among those who are already vaccinated. Yesterday, Austria became the first European country to launch a national isolation. Such a measure was taken after the frightening increase of infections and a few days after the decision was made to isolate from extra and non-essential activities, for all unvaccinated persons. Austrian Chancellors, Alexander Schallenberg, has indicated that the isolation will start on Monday 22 November and will last a minimum of 10 days. "Given the seriousness of the situation and given the extent of the infection, the federal government and the state prime ministers have agreed that there is no other way but to impose restrictive measures on everyone," he said. "We do not want a fifth wave," Schallenberg said after meeting with governors of nine Austrian provinces. He said the rules would expire automatically on December 13 and since then "will no longer apply to vaccinated and cured". "We do not want a fifth wave," Schallenberg said after meeting with governors of nine Austrian provinces. He said the rules would expire automatically on December 13 and since then "will no longer apply to vaccinated and cured". "We do not want a fifth wave," Schallenberg said after meeting with governors of nine Austrian provinces. He said the rules would expire automatically on December 13 and since then "will no longer apply to vaccinated and cured".
Despite tough measures taken by Austria, its neighbor the Czech Republic has not decided to follow the same path. The Czech Republic has chosen to restrict recreational areas to unaccompanied persons only. Germany has also announced that it will take measures to limit all people who have not yet received the vaccine. German leaders have agreed to impose restrictions on unvaccinated people in 12 of Germany's 16 states. Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country would restrict much of public life in areas where hospitals are dangerously overcrowded with Covid-19 patients. These facilities will only be accessible to persons who have been vaccinated or who have contracted the disease. Ms Merkel said the move was necessary in order to try to control the fourth wave of infections. Meanwhile, Germany's largest southeastern region, Bavaria, decided yesterday to cancel all Christmas markets due to the huge increase in the number of coronavirus cases. Another country that has increased restrictions as a result of the rising infection curve is Greece. The European state has imposed more restrictions on unvaccinated people following an increase in recent cases, including banning them from all indoor spaces such as cinemas, museums and gyms. The death rate from the virus has reached its highest level in six months, as roughly a third of Greece's population remains unvaccinated. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Slovakia Eduard Heger has announced that a blockade for the unvaccinated will start on Monday. Belgium, meanwhile, has said that from Saturday, people will be required to work mostly from home, with only one day in office, while Latvia announced a full one-month block at the end of last month. Another country that has stepped up measures is Indonesia, which has decided to make vaccinations mandatory in February. Anyone who refuses to be hit can be fined or denied social assistance or government services. However, a country that is going against the flow and has decided not to isolate its citizens is France. President Emmanuel Macron has said his country will not follow the example of some European countries to impose restrictive measures on unvaccinated people. "Those countries that are closing the unvaccinated are the ones that have not established the (health) passport. "Therefore, this step is not necessary in France," said the French president. In France, proof of vaccination or a new test with a negative result is required for entry to restaurants, cafes and cinemas as well as for other activities such as long train travel.