European countries begin to relax COVID-19 restrictions despite high levels of Omicron


Countries across Europe have begun to relax COVID-19 rules and restrictions to bring the economy to the fore, despite ever-increasing levels of cases caused by Omicron variants. ..

On Thursday, England lifted several restrictions, including mandatory face masks in closed areas and vaccine passports that were previously required to attend nightclubs and large-scale events.

In addition, working from home is no longer recommended in Japan, and restrictions on admission to long-term care facilities will be lifted from January 31st.

These “Plan B” measures were implemented in December after the discovery of a case of Omicron in Japan.

Visitors to vaccinated counties, on the other hand, no longer need to be tested or quarantined. Unvaccinated arrivals only need to be tested before and after departure, but do not need to be quarantined unless the test is positive. virus.

In other parts of the Netherlands, which have been severely blocked since mid-December, the Dutch government has announced that it will begin lifting restrictions to allow the hospitality industry to welcome customers again.

“As of January 26, most parts of our country were reopened under certain conditions,” officials said. guidance Explain the relaxation of the reaction. “This means that restaurants, bars, movie theaters, theaters, music venues, museums, zoos and amusement parks can be reopened.”

Starting Wednesday, the Dutch hospitality industry is allowed to welcome customers, but with reduced capacity and social distance rules, only between 5am and 10pm.

You will need to show your COVID-19 vaccine passport to enter the facility. Everyone over the age of 13 is required to wear a face mask in public indoor spaces such as public transport, shops, museums and cinemas.

People are also encouraged to work from home, and visitors over the age of 13 can only enter up to four people each day.

Meanwhile, the Danish government on Wednesday announcement It was decided that “COVID-19 should not be classified as a socially significant illness after January 31, 2022,” and virtually everything was done to prevent the spread of the illness, except for inspection on arrival. We are planning to lift the restriction. from overseas.

Epoch Times Photo
Customers will drink and eat on the terrace in Tilburg, the Netherlands, on January 26, 2022. (Rob Engelaar / ANP / AFP via Getty Images)
School student student UK UK mask
Grade 8 will wear a face mask or cover when attending an English class at the Park Lane Academy in Halifax, northwestern England on January 4, 2022. (OliScarff / AFP via Getty Images)

Belgium last week announcement French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier VĂ©ran Timetable Domestic regulations will be gradually lifted in the coming weeks.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also told reporters on January 10 that the European Union should consider being infected with COVID-19 in the same way as influenza.

A series of European moves came after Monday’s World Health Organization suggested that Europe would experience a “quiet” COVID-19 period before the virus returned towards the end of the year, but this time in earnest. There is no pandemic.

Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, said that a highly infectious Omicron variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus that causes COVID-19 had infected 60% of Europeans by March for some time. He told Agence France-Presse that it could be mitigated. For global immunity.

However, as these cases settled across Europe, Kruge said, “Global immunity for quite a few weeks to months, thanks to vaccines or because of infection-induced immunity and reduced seasonality. Exists. “

“Therefore, we expect a quiet time for COVID-19 to return towards the end of the year, but not necessarily a pandemic,” he said.

However, earlier this month, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned Europe that more cases could occur in the coming weeks, driven by Omicron variants. As a health care employee, and in many EU member states, it poses potential problems with testing and contact tracing capabilities.

EU health agencies say the overall level of risk to public health is “very high” as cases of Omicron continue to spread throughout Europe.

So far, at least 120,294,000 COVID-19 infections and 1,954,000 deaths have been reported in Europe, according to Reuters. COVID-19 Tracker.

Catabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.