- BBC News World
Europe began to resume precautionary measures on Wednesday against the spread of the new omicron variant, given the possibility that this strain of the virus is more infectious and resists the protection of vaccines.
The restrictions – so far only imposed by the UK and Denmark – take place because scientists are still studying their possible impacts.
Ómicron was first identified in late November in South Africa. Following the announcement, countries around the world adopted travel bans for various nations on the African continent.
However, the virus had gained ground and was in almost a dozen countries when the border closures were announced.
Almost on par with the closures, on November 26, the World Health Organization declared the variance one of concern.
What are the new measures in England?
The most significant measure announced by the English authorities is that next Monday, December 13, remote work will return.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated that employers will have the rest of the week to make the necessary arrangements with their workers under the new modality.
¨From Monday, you should work from home if you can, attend work if required, but work from home if possible. I know this will be difficult for many people, but by reducing your contacts at work you will help reduce transmission, “said Johnson.
For this December 8, the United Kingdom reported 51,342 new positive cases of covid-19. In the past seven days they total 339,861, which shows an increase of 34,609 compared to the previous seven days.
- From Friday, December 10, it will be a requirement to wear masks in most public activities that take place indoors. This includes places of worship, theaters and cinemas, as well as shopping and public transportation.
- The masks will not be necessary in spaces related to the hotel industry, such as pubs, restaurants and other places where it is not “practical” to use them (for example, where you exercise or sing).
- From Wednesday, December 15 (subject to Parliament’s approval), the population must present a negative covid-19 rapid test or their vaccination pass on the NHS application to attend the following: nightclubs, indoor events with more than 500 people, outdoor events with more than 4,000 people, any activity with more than 10,000 people
What about Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
In Wales, vaccination passes are required for most indoor events. The government of this region of Great Britain already had a requirement to wear face masks in shops, hospitals and public transport. He also urged his workers to stay home if possible.
Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland there is a limit of 30 people for group activities. Masks are also mandatory in closed places, as well as vaccination passports.
On the other hand, in Scotland the rules of social distancing are maintained in hospital settings. In this region, the contact information of those who participate in indoor activities related to the hospital industry should be requested.
What are the new measures in Denmark?
Given the rapid spread of the new variant, Denmark made the decision to advance the holiday period in primary schools, which will be closed from December 15 to January 4.
His government wants to vaccinate minors between the ages of 5 to 11 before the school year returns in January.
“This is not a closure of society, it is a package of measures to buy time. We are better than a year ago because vaccines work,” said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
- Restaurants and bars will close at midnight from Friday, December 10.
- After midnight the sale of alcohol is also prohibited in shops and discos.
- Concerts in which there are more than 50 people standing were also prohibited.
- The government urged the population to suspend Christmas dinners and to work remotely as much as possible.
The Nordic country registered 6,629 new cases this Wednesday, a record number in the entire pandemic. According to the Efe agency, hospital admissions have multiplied by five in the last two months, although they are less than half the height reached in January.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.