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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 17th Nov 2021

Lockdown Exit
Dutch plan to drop 'corona pass' for unvaccinated faces political push back
The Dutch government's plan to scrap the "corona pass" for people not vaccinated against COVID-19 faced strong opposition in parliament on Tuesday, including from within the ruling coalition. The pass, which grants access to indoor public venues, is now available to people who have been vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 or have tested negative for the virus. Under a proposal put forward by caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday, the last option would be dropped. But in an evening debate, even one of Rutte's own four-party coalition government partners expressed concerns that it would cause social division.
Pfizer Will Allow Its Covid Pill to Be Made and Sold Cheaply in Poor Countries
Pfizer announced a deal on Tuesday to allow its promising Covid-19 treatment to be made and sold inexpensively in 95 poorer nations that are home to more than half of the world’s population. The agreement follows a similar arrangement negotiated by Merck last month, and together the deals have the potential to vastly expand global production of two simple antiviral pills that could alter the course of the pandemic by preventing severe illness from the coronavirus.
U.K. Missing 465000 People From Workforce Since Covid Hit
Britain continues to face severe labor market shortages despite the end of the furlough program because 465,000 people have disappeared from the workforce since the start of the pandemic, according to Bank of America. Ending the benefit on Sept. 30 for those out of work during lockdowns was expected to bring people who had given up on job hunting back into employment. “That has not happened yet,” Bank of America economist Rob Wood said in a note on Tuesday. U.K. payroll numbers jumped by 160,000 to a new high in October, suggesting the economy can absorb many of the 1 million workers who were on furlough when the program closed. Official unemployment for the month of September dropped to 3.9%, lower than immediate pre-pandemic levels.
Germany Plans Stricter Covid Restrictions for Unvaccinated People
Germany is heading toward stiffer restrictions on people who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine, as authorities across Europe seek to rein in a renewed surge of the disease. Europe’s largest economy is grappling with its worst outbreak in the pandemic, posting a fresh record in its contagion rate on Tuesday. The country’s response has been complicated by a change in power, with Chancellor Angela Merkel in a caretaker role while negotiations to form a new government proceed. Under pressure to act, lawmakers from the potential ruling coalition are planning to introduce legislation later this week that would impose tougher curbs on people who haven’t been inoculated, including requiring tests to go to work and take public transportation.
Pfizer Covid Pill: US to Buy Enough for 10 Million Patients
The Biden administration plans to buy enough of Pfizer Inc.’s new Covid-19 pill to treat 10 million patients, people familiar with the matter say. Pfizer’s pill to treat the disease caused by the coronavirus showed extraordinary results in a clinical trial, reducing hospitalization and death by 89% among high-risk Covid-19 patients. The company said Tuesday it asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency-use authorization for the pill, administered twice a day for five days. The administration has also ordered about 3.1 million courses of a pill from Merck & Co., and has an option in its contract to purchase more than 2 million additional courses.
Slovakia plans curbs on those unvaccinated for COVID-19 as hospitals fill up
Slovakia's hospitals are in a critical situation dealing with a surge in coronavirus infections and the government will approve measures on Thursday to limit access to services for unvaccinated people, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said. Europe has again become the epicentre of the pandemic, prompting countries like Slovakia and neighbouring Austria to re-introduce restrictions in the run-up to Christmas.
Germany to follow Austria's lockdown apartheid: Berlin considers rules for 14m unvaccinated citizens
Incoming government recommending unvaccinated citizens be banned from public transport. It will also bar the unvaccinated from going to work and recommend WFH for all. Comes amid soaring infections and sluggish vaccine rollout across country States are warning that their hospitals will hit capacity by early December
India opens borders to vaccinated foreign tourists
India opened its borders to fully vaccinated foreign tourists entering the country on commercial flights for the first time in nearly two years on Monday. Tourists entering the country must be fully vaccinated, test negative for the virus within 72 hours of their flight and follow all Covid-19 protocols, according to the health ministry. Travelers from countries that have mutual agreements with India on the recognition of vaccination certificates, including the United States, United Kingdom and multiple European nations, can leave the airport without undergoing a Covid-19 test. However, they must monitor their health for 14 days after their arrival.
Russia to lift COVID-19 ban on flights to Brazil, Argentina, other countries from Dec. 1
Russia will lift its COVID-19 ban on flights to countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Mongolia, Costa Rica and Argentina from Dec. 1, the government coronavirus task force said on Tuesday. The government stopped normal commercial flights abroad when the pandemic struck last year, but it has since been gradually relaxing the restrictions. The flight bans dealt a heavy blow to Russia's airlines.
Exit Strategies
Moderna Hires Pfizer Executive as UK Vaccine Contract Set to Expire in 2021
Moderna Inc. lured an executive from rival Pfizer Inc. to become its first-ever U.K. regional head as a contract with the country for Covid-19 vaccines appears in danger of lapsing. The company hired Darius Hughes, the former head of Pfizer’s U.K. and Ireland vaccines business unit, in July as U.K. country director, he confirmed in a Bloomberg interview Tuesday. Hughes is tasked with growing Moderna’s business in the U.K., including potentially renegotiating its Covid-19 vaccine contract, which is yet to be renewed. Moderna is expanding after it was propelled onto the world stage by the success of its Covid-19 vaccine -- one of the first shots to be authorized globally. The vaccine was the first product the company brought to market, causing the shares to skyrocket.
Coronavirus live: Germany set to tighten rules for unvaccinated; Ireland brings in midnight curfew
Pfizer has announced it is asking US regulators to authorise its experimental antiviral Covid-19 pill, Paxlovid, which has been shown in clinical trials to cut the risk of hospitalisation and death for adults by almost 90 per cent. The company has said it will allow generic manufacturers to supply its experimental antiviral Covid pill to 95 low- and middle-income countries. People in Ireland are being asked to work from home where possible from Friday and bars, restaurants and nightclubs will introduce a midnight closing time on Friday as a raft of new restrictions is agreed by the government in the face of rising hospitalisations. Thousands of restaurant owners in Greece shut their businesses in a nationwide protest against recent measures that fine establishments for serving customers without proper documentation of their vaccination or test status. The UK has recorded another 37,243 Covid cases in the last 24 hours, and a further 214 deaths within 28 days of a positive test. That is compared to 39,705 infections and 47 deaths reported the day before.
Ireland reimposes early bar, nightclub closures as COVID resurges
Ireland will from Thursday require bars and nightclubs to close early while ramping up the use of booster vaccines in a bid to combat a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in its largely vaccinated population, the governing party said on Tuesday. Three months ago it announced plans to drop almost all restrictions within weeks, but infection numbers have since increased again to levels close to last January's all-time peak, even though more than 90% of adults are now vaccinated.
Covid-19: Vaccine passports should already be in place, says Naomi Long
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP Sammy Wilson has said he hopes his party will try to stop the introduction of mandatory Covid-19 vaccine certificates in Northern Ireland. He described it as a "bad policy" and said it would be an infringement on people's freedoms. The Stormont executive will discuss the proposal by Health Minister Robin Swann's at a meeting on Wednesday. Three other ministers have already declared their support for the plan. Any ministers opposing to the idea "need to set out very clearly what their alternative is", said Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon, the SDLP deputy leader.
Spain designs new Covid-19 traffic light system that raises threshold for low-risk scenario
In Spain, the risk of contracting the coronavirus is not the same now as it was six months ago, when most of the population was unvaccinated. Despite this, the government’s traffic light system has remained unchanged for over a year: the low-risk scenario is set at under 50 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days, while the high-risk scenario is established at above 250 cases. A new draft alert system seen by EL PAÍS now puts the low-risk scenario at 50 to 100 cases per 100,000 people. The new document has already been backed by a group of technical experts from the Health Ministry and regional governments, and it is expected to be approved on Tuesday by the Public Health Committee, which is made up of central and regional health officials.
Nigeria plans mass vaccination drive, considers booster shot
Nigeria will start a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign later this week, aiming to inoculate half of its targeted population by the end of January, government officials said. Africa's most-populous country has a goal to vaccinate 111 million people to reach herd immunity. Under the initiative to start on Friday, 55 million doses or more than a million a day will be administered. The country has to date vaccinated only 2.9% of those eligible to get vaccines.
Japan to ease quarantine for people inoculated with J&J COVID-19 vaccine
Japan intends to ease quarantine rules by the end of November for people inoculated with Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, the Nikkei daily reported on Tuesday. Japan last week took a first step in its planned phased re-opening of borders, which centres on business travellers. But that plan's easing of quarantine rules for inbound business travellers did not cover people inoculated with J&J's COVID-19 vaccine.
Brazil to offer COVID-19 booster shot to everyone older than 18
Brazilian health minister Marcelo Queiroga said on Tuesday the government will offer COVID-19 booster shots to everyone older than 18. Queiroga said the booster shots will be available five months after the second vaccine dose, and there were enough doses for the entire population.
UK PM Johnson: get COVID shots to avoid new restrictions
People in Britain must come forward for COVID-19 vaccines when they are eligible if new COVID restrictions this winter are to be avoided, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday. "If we want to avoid new restrictions on our daily lives, we must all get vaccinated as soon as we are eligible," Johnson said at a news conference after the booster vaccination programme was expanded. "Please go and get vaccinated to protect yourself and others, and, in doing so, we can help to ensure that we can continue in the way that we are: sticking to our plan of using vaccination to control this virus."
Court lottery gives Biden administration a chance to revive COVID vaccine mandate
A judicial panel on Tuesday consolidated 34 lawsuits challenging the Biden administration's workplace COVID-19 vaccine rule in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a venue favored by opponents of the rule. The 6th Circuit was chosen randomly. The rule requires employers with at least 100 workers to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing combined with wearing a face covering at work
Germany could make COVID test or vaccine mandatory for public transport
You may soon have to provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination or recent recovery, as the country becomes the latest in Europe to consider drastic steps to tackle a new surge in cases in the region. Germany registered yet another record rate of cases over the past week on Monday as more indoor gatherings due to cold weather and flatlining vaccination campaigns turn Europe once more into the pandemic epicentre. This fourth infection wave is challenging a government in transition, with three parties negotiating to form the next cabinet after September's inconclusive election.
Partisan Exits
Amazon to Pay $500,000 in California Over Covid Notifications
Amazon has agreed to pay $500,000 to help enforce California’s consumer protection laws after the company was accused of concealing Covid-19 case numbers from its workers, officials said on Monday. The judgment, which is subject to court approval, is the first of its kind nationwide and is in line with a California “right to know” law that was designed to keep workers safe during the pandemic, according to a news release from the attorney general’s office. Under the arrangement, Amazon must also tell its warehouse workers within a day about the exact number of new Covid-19 cases in their workplaces, ensure that notifications adequately inform workers of the company’s disinfection and safety plans, tell health officials about new cases and submit to monitoring by the attorney general’s office regarding its Covid-19 notifications.
'They See Us as the Enemy': Schools Nurses Face Pandemic Rage
When a junior high school student in western Oregon tested positive for the coronavirus last month, Sherry McIntyre, a school nurse, quarantined two dozen of the student’s football teammates. The players had spent time together in the locker room unmasked, and, according to local guidelines, they could not return to school for at least 10 days. Some parents took the news poorly. They told Ms. McIntyre that she should lose her nursing license or accused her of violating their children’s educational rights. Another nurse in the district faced similar ire when she quarantined the volleyball team. This fall, after facing repeated hostility from parents, they started locking their office doors.
Court lottery gives Biden administration a chance to revive COVID vaccine mandate
A judicial panel on Tuesday consolidated 34 lawsuits challenging the Biden administration's workplace COVID-19 vaccine rule in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a venue favored by opponents of the rule. President Joe Biden announced plans for the vaccine requirement in September, seeking to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases and get more people back to work. The Cincinnati appeals court was chosen randomly and will take up the challenges to the rule, which compels employers with at least 100 workers to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing combined with face masks at work
Covid scammers cash in as they exploit pandemic with fake vaccine passport emails and texts
Millions of Britons have been targeted by Covid passport scams. Some received emails which looked like they were from their GP inviting them to claim Covid passport. Others had texts telling them to click a link to buy a Covid passport
Greek health sector workers protest as hospitals struggle with COVID spike
Greek public health sector workers protested in Athens over pay and conditions on Monday as hospitals struggled with a new surge in COVID-19 cases and authorities considered further restrictions.The protesters said they were underpaid, overworked and understaffed. They called for more hirings, for the government to include them on a list of hazardous professions which receive hazard pay benefits, and for private doctors to be ordered to help. A decision by the government to suspend unvaccinated health sector workers has increased staff shortages, they said. Greece made vaccinations mandatory for nursing home staff in July and for healthcare workers in September.
Scientific Viewpoint
Pfizer Asks F.D.A. to Authorize Covid Pill For Unvaccinated People
Pfizer has applied to the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its antiviral pill to treat unvaccinated people with Covid-19 who are at high risk of becoming severely ill, the company said on Tuesday. The drug, which will be sold under the brand name Paxlovid, could become available within weeks if authorization is granted. It is meant to be dispensed by pharmacies and taken at home. Paxlovid is the second antiviral pill to show effectiveness against Covid, in a new class of treatments for the disease that are expected to reach far more patients than other drugs that are typically given by infusion.
Pfizer Submits Covid-19 Pill for FDA Authorization
Pfizer Inc. said it asked U.S. health regulators to authorize its oral Covid-19 drug for use in high-risk patients, putting the pill on a path that could make it available for people to take at home by the end of the year. Clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would give patients and doctors an easy-to-use treatment to keep people out of the hospital early in the course of the disease. “There is an urgent need for lifesaving treatment options,” Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said Thursday. “We are moving as quickly as possible in our effort to get this potential treatment into the hands of patients.”
Why Impact of 'Long Covid' Could Outlast the Pandemic
Millions of people who have gotten Covid-19 and survived are finding that a full recovery can be frustratingly elusive. Weeks or even months after seemingly recovering from even a mild case, many patients still confront a wide range of health problems. As researchers try to measure the duration and depth of what’s being called “long Covid,” specialized, post–acute Covid clinics are opening to handle the patients. The scale of the pandemic and persistence of some of Covid’s disabling effects mean the economic pain and drain on health resources could continue well after the contagion ends.
NHS boss Amanda Pritchard reveals health service is preparing a yearly Covid booster programme
Amanda Pritchard said the NHS is putting plans in place for yearly booster jabs JCVI recommended booster programme should be extended to all over-40s Ms Pritchard urged people to take up vaccination invitations 'as soon as possible'
Three doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccination safe in high-risk populations
Earlier reports have suggested the high effectiveness of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines at preventing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. However, their efficacy against mild COVID-19 disease appears to wane over time. Thus, the need for additional/booster vaccine doses is being contemplated. This retrospective study included adults within the Mayo Clinic Enterprise who were vaccinated with three doses of United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines from December 1, 2020, to October 17, 2021. Participants received the first two doses of BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 according to the emergency use authorization (EUA) protocol. The study participants were administered a third dose of the same vaccine type as the original two doses at least 28 days after the second dose. All subjects were followed up for at least 14 days after their third vaccine dose.
More than 10,000 Australians have filed coronavirus vaccine injury claims
Taxpayers are facing a hefty bill for rare but significant coronavirus vaccine injuries, with at least 10,000 people planning to claim under the federal government’s no-fault indemnity scheme. Services Australia is building an online portal, to be launched next month, for uncapped claims above $5000 from those who suffered injury and loss of income due to their COVID-19 vaccine, with compensation for medical costs and lost wages to be paid by the government.
Researchers find way to filter coronavirus particles out of the air
A study by researchers suggests that air filters can remove almost all airborne traces of COVID-19. The findings by the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital could not only improve the safety of "surge wards" but also opens up the possibility of setting standards for cleaner air to reduce the risk of indoor transmission. With fears growing of another potential wave this winter, the discovery could allow hospitals to better manage their repurposed "surge wards" which can often lack the ability to change the air with a high frequency.
Jabs have given us a tactical advantage over Covid-19 – squandering it now would be reckless in the extreme
Now the spectre of Christmas cancelled is raised, an attempt to jolt millions out of complacency and into action. In other European countries – notably Austria, Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany – Covid-19 infections are climbing. Here in Britain, we have relied on high vaccination rates to keep hospitalisations and deaths low, even when infections have spiked. Squandering that tactical advantage over Covid-19 would be reckless in the extreme. From next week, booster jabs will be offered to eight million over-40s. Third doses cut the risk of infection by more than 80 per cent. So far the middle-aged are not coming forward in the numbers needed. While three-quarters of eligible over-70s have had their booster, just half of those in their 50s have taken up the offer.
How food can help recovery from Covid-19
Eating advice for people recovering from Covid-19 is now available online. The Recovery Knowledge Hub, external, launched by the University of Plymouth, asks people about their current diet and offers tips and ideas to improve it. The hub is aimed at everyone who wants advice, from the public to professionals and it is free, said the university. "Eating the right diet is crucial to keep well physically and mentally, and a key part of recovery from Covid-19 is to make sure your diet is healthy," said Mary Hickson, professor in dietetics at the university.
COVID-19: Boosters not only replenish immunity against transmission but lift it too, new data shows
These two types of protection - against transmission and against severe disease - are both very important, but they are also quite different. Just because a particular vaccine is good at one thing doesn't necessarily mean it's equally good at the other thing. Just because a particular vaccine's effectiveness at preventing transmission is waning doesn't necessarily mean its effectiveness at preventing serious disease is diminishing at the same rate. I say all of this not just because the two types of protection are often conflated (though they are) but because keeping this distinction under your hat is quite important when navigating all the data around COVID and vaccines.
Moderna says EU to donate over 70 mln doses of its COVID-19 vaccine
Moderna Inc said it signed an agreement that enables European Union and European Economic Area countries to donate over 70 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX vaccine sharing scheme for low-and-middle income countries.
AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine supply hits two billion doses
Two billion doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine have been supplied worldwide, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker and its partner said on Tuesday, in just under a year since its first approval. The shot, which is the biggest contributor to the COVAX vaccine sharing scheme backed by the World Health Organization, is being made in 15 countries for supply to more than 170 countries, London-listed AstraZeneca and Oxford University said in a joint statement. AstraZeneca in June last year signed on India's Serum Institute, the world's biggest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, to help double the vaccine's manufacturing capacity to two billion doses.
Pfizer to allow generic versions of its COVID pill in 95 countries
Pfizer Inc said it will allow generic manufacturers to supply its experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill to 95 low- and middle-income countries through a licensing agreement with international public health group Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). The voluntary licensing agreement between Pfizer and the MPP will allow the UN-backed group to grant sub-licences to qualified generic drug manufacturers to make their own versions of PF-07321332. Pfizer will sell the pills it manufactures under the brand name Paxlovid.
Racial disparities in kids’ vaccinations are hard to track
The rollout of COVID-19 shots for elementary-age children has exposed another blind spot in the nation’s efforts to address pandemic inequalities: Health systems have released little data on the racial breakdown of youth vaccinations, and community leaders fear that Black and Latino kids are falling behind. Only a handful of states have made public data on COVID-19 vaccinations by race and age, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not compile racial breakdowns either. Despite the lack of hard data, public health officials and medical professionals are mindful of disparities and have been reaching out to communities of color to overcome vaccine hesitancy. That includes going into schools, messaging in other languages, deploying mobile vaccine units and emphasizing to skeptical parents that the shots are safe and powerfully effective.
Pfizer, like Merck, inks deal to license COVID-19 pill and boost global supply
With its highly anticipated COVID-19 oral treatment seemingly on a fast track to approval, Pfizer already is lining it up to be manufactured as a generic by countries in need. Under an agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), Pfizer will license Paxlovid to facilitate affordable global access. The deal will allow sub-licensees to supply 95 countries that account for 53% of the world's population, Pfizer said. The arrangement mirrors the one made by Merck and Ridgeback with the MPP three weeks ago, allowing for needy countries to manufacture those drugmakers' COVID-19 pill molnupiravir. Molnupiravir also is expected to be endorsed by the FDA in the coming weeks. Both deals are contingent upon regulatory authorizations or approvals. An FDA advisory group will meet on Nov. 30 to discuss Merck's application for molnupiravir.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Ireland Reimposes Some Virus Restrictions as Cases Surge
Ireland has reintroduced some Covid-19 restrictions as it grapples with surging infections and a rising number of hospitalizations. Starting Thursday, people should work from home where possible, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said in a national address, while bars and restaurants must close by midnight. Cinemas and theaters will now require proof of vaccination, he said. Household contacts of anyone infected with Covid will now have to restrict their own movement for five days and complete a “recommended” antigen test, the premier said.
8 deaths reported after recent Covid-19 outbreak at a Connecticut nursing home
Eight residents of a nursing home in northwestern Connecticut have died since late September following a Covid-19 outbreak, the nursing home said in a statement. A total of 89 residents and staff -- many of whom were fully vaccinated -- have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven weeks, Geer Village Senior Community in North Canaan said Friday, and 11 residents and one staff member remain in isolation. "Sadly, we have lost 8 residents with serious underlying health issues to Covid," the statement said. The center first released information about the outbreak on October 3, stating that there were three positive cases among residents and a staff member who were all fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Europe turns the screws on the unvaccinated as Covid-19 cases climb
Europe's leaders are toughening their stances towards unvaccinated people and pursuing measures that increasingly isolate them from the rest of society, as frustration grows over stalling shot rollouts and a wave of Covid-19 infections on the continent. Germany may become the next country to impose stricter rules on those who haven't been fully inoculated, after the parties making up its prospective new coalition government hardened their proposed Covid-19 approach in parliament. The proposed measures would require Germans to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to ride a bus or board a train, in an expansion of the country's "3G" system that requires either to enter certain venues and settings.
Brazil registers 63 COVID-19 deaths on Monday
Brazil registered 63 COVID-19 deaths on Monday and 2,799 additional cases, according to data released by the nation's Health Ministry. The South American country's coronavirus death toll is second in the world only to the United States, but the pandemic has abated significantly in recent months, as it has in much of Latin America. Brazil has now registered a total of 611,346 COVID-19 deaths and 21,960,766 total confirmed cases.
Hospitals in Slovak east fill up as COVID wave rages, new law tightens rules
Hospitals in Slovakia, one of Europe's least-vaccinated nations, have been filling up with coronavirus patients, with the northeastern region of Presov reporting almost no spare intensive care beds, authorities and hospitals said on Monday. President Zuzana Caputova has signed a law allowing the government to force unvaccinated people to test twice a week before attending work in the worst-affected regions and keep them out of restaurants and other services. The country of 5.5 million was not planning a national lockdown, however.
Czechs report more than 10000 new COVID-19 cases
The Czech Republic reported 11,514 new COVID-19 cases for Nov. 15, the fifth time daily infections have topped 10,000 in past seven days, health ministry data showed on Tuesday. Hospitalisations grew to 4,296, including 635 people in a serious condition, according to the figures. The outgoing government of Prime Minister Andrej Babis has been debating bringing in tougher restrictions including one proposal for some form of lockdown for unvaccinated people.
Portuguese PM warns restrictions may return as COVID cases rise
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Tuesday that authorities in one of the world's most vaccinated nations may bring back some measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the run-up to the holiday season as infections soar across Europe. The number of new cases has been gradually rising over the past month in Portugal, reaching a two-month daily high of 1,816 infections on Saturday. The 14-day infection rate stood at 156 cases per 100,000 people on Monday, about double that in neighbouring Spain, which has a slightly lower share of its population fully vaccinated, but still well below over 500 in Germany and more than 900 in the Netherlands.
Europe coronavirus spike raises specter of lockdowns and new restrictions
Nearly two years into the coronavirus era, much of Europe is once again facing a surge in cases and, in some countries, a return to lockdowns and other restrictions that had begun to feel like a distant part of the pandemic. This time around, the unvaccinated are frequently the target of new measures. Overall, 76 percent of adults in the European Union and 65 percent of the total population have been fully vaccinated, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. In Austria, as of midnight Monday, about 2 million unvaccinated people will be subject to a lockdown lasting 10 days as coronavirus cases rise.