May 16, 2022

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From Austria to France, counterintuitive strategies in Europe to reduce infection

Not only the EU: In the UK, masks are no longer mandatory in schools

In London on Friday January 21, the return to Plan A, as outlined by the British government, which envisages in the first phase the lifting of anti-Covid restrictions in relation to the smart work indicator where possible and the observance of masks in schools, began. Measures which are therefore no longer in force in England, as happens in locally prescribed ways and times in other nations of the United Kingdom, and usually in line with epidemiological matters with what London decides. The second phase of the Plan B farewell begins on January 27: in this case, the legal obligation to wear masks in public places and the miniature green corridor available only for access to discos or group mass events will be eliminated.

Far too many restrictions in Wales and Northern Ireland

Outside the EU context but still in Europe, even local governments in Wales and Northern Ireland, after what London did in England, have relaxed anti-Covid restrictions in the face of very promising data on infections and hospitalizations. The new rules went into effect in the past few hours. Belfast has eliminated the green lane for bars and restaurants, while remaining only for large indoor events. The table service commitment has also been waived as well as the maximum number of six people seated together. Northern Ireland lined up with London on the days of isolation for positives, which were reduced from seven to five, with the quarantine likely to end with two negative swabs on the fifth and sixth days. While you are in Wales, there are no longer any restrictions on the number of people who attend outdoor events, especially sporting events. Outdoor bars and restaurants can operate without a base of up to six people at a table and social distancing. However, the green pass is still mandatory for adults who participate in large indoor and outdoor events.

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Brussels Alert: Unconsolidated measures could undermine confidence in the vaccine

The diffusion of different strategies among EU countries is often contested – it is clearly in line with EU rules that recognize that individual member states have jurisdiction to make decisions on health matters, and as a result, Brussels, cannot do much more than invite states to greater coordination , to do – prompting the European Commission to stress the danger that the new alternative would lead to a breakdown of the standardization of measures that had been largely respected until last fall. The European Union is therefore preparing to abandon its contagion map, so far as the North Star to identify the regions most affected by the Corona virus and therefore subject to greater travel restrictions, in favor of a “one-on-one” approach: The personal status of the citizen is calculated – With full vaccination, cured of Covid or equipped with a swab – not the region of origin. An important simplification that goes in the direction the commission has long desired, the “joint and coordinated” approach, trying to reduce the patchwork of national regulations that make life impossible for travelers. The agreement was supposed to be reached by the 27 ambassadors to the European Union with a (non-binding) draft, which El Pais had predicted, which would arrive at the General Affairs Council on Tuesday 25 January.

Fourth dose

EU Commissioner Stella Kyriakides at the last extraordinary meeting of EU health ministers sent a message to European governments: once there is “scientific evidence”, the 27 should be ready to manage The fourth dose of the vaccine. Countries such as Spain, Denmark and Hungary have already expressed themselves in favor of this solution, but there is a danger that even on this front the 27 countries decide not to adopt a unified strategy.

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