European leaders seek to impose harsh rules designed to isolate people who refuse to be vaccinated from the rest of society. The measures come in the context of the increasingly aggressive waves of new Covid-19 infections in Europe and the slowdown in the vaccination process of the population, informs CNN.
Germany is going to impose stricter rules for those who do not yet have a complete vaccination schedule. One of the proposed measures requires Germans to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to travel by bus or train. The new rules complement existing restrictions on access to bars, restaurants or cinemas.
The proposals put forward by the Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party and the Green Party, which is in the process of forming the new German government, will be voted on this Thursday in the Bundestag – the German Parliament. One of the leaders of the “greens”, Robert Habeck, stated that the rules in question represent a “lockdown for unvaccinated people.”
Almost two-thirds of Germans are completely vaccinated, with at least two doses. At the same time, infections are growing alarmingly: the average of the last seven days is almost 40,000 new cases a day – the highest infection rate since the beginning of the pandemic and twice as high as since the beginning of November.
The latest restrictions came into force on Monday, November 15, and apply only in Berlin, but the new wave of infections facing Germany mainly affects the southern and eastern areas, where the vaccination rate is lower than in the rest of the country.
Austria: Those who refuse to get vaccinated are no longer allowed to leave the house
Measures against those who refuse to be vaccinated have already been taken in the neighboring country, Austria, where unvaccinated people, representing more than a third of the total population, have been banned from leaving their homes since Monday, with a few exceptions. Among those omitted from the restrictions are people who go to work and those who buy food.
Austria’s new chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, said the vaccination rate was “shamefully low” and that those who refused to be vaccinated would now be subject to “the same situation we all faced in 2020”. Austria is hit by a strong wave of infections, and the percentage of vaccinated is slightly lower than in Germany.
France has also introduced new restrictions due to the growing number of new infections. The latest measures apply to citizens of 16 European Union countries. Non-vaccinated people in these countries must have a PCR test no later than 24 hours before reaching France.
Countries such as Spain and Portugal, where the vaccination rate is among the highest in Europe, have so far managed to avoid the severe effects of the new wave of Covid-19 infections. Unlike Germany and Austria, where in recent days there have been around 50,000 and 10,000 new cases per day, respectively, in the two Iberian countries, the daily infection rate has remained less than 5,000 and 2,000, respectively, according to the Organization World Health Organization.
Editor: Raul Nețoiu