European countries are seeing Covid cases explode, with countries introducing tough new measures and widespread blockade warnings.
Europe could face another Christmas lockdown as Covid cases explode across the continent in a devastating fourth wave.
The World Health Organization said Europe was the only region in the world where Covid-related deaths increased last week, as the Belgian Prime Minister3 said the continent was on “red alert”.
In Europe, the WHO said the largest number of cases came from Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The UK has recorded more than 46,000 cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours – the highest number in almost a month.
A total of 46,807 cases of Covid have been reported in the UK in the past 24 hours, according to the government website on Thursday.
This is the highest daily infection rate since October 22, when 49,298 people tested positive for Covid.
Data released Thursday also revealed that 199 people had died within 28 days of testing positive.
In the past seven days, 1,026 people have died, 112 fewer than the previous week, which equates to a drop of 9.8%.
German affairs are on the rise in what Chancellor Angela Merkel called the “dramatic” fourth wave.
With hospitals across the country on the brink of collapse, a lockdown could soon go into effect and last until December 15.
Key developments in the Covid crisis in Europe include
• German hospitals under pressure and the lockdown could be applied until December 15
• Covid cases in Russia hit records for second day
• Belgium applies heavy restrictions in a desperate effort to avoid a complete lockdown
• Italy plans to introduce lockdown for the unvaccinated amid fourth wave fears sweeping the country
Germany’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 65,371 new cases daily, breaking the previous 24-hour record and continuing an uptrend that experts have warned for weeks.
“We are currently heading towards a serious emergency,” institute director Lothar Wieler said in an online debate Wednesday evening.
“We’re going to have a really terrible Christmas if we don’t take countermeasures now. “
But the country’s jab rate is only 68% lower than the European average, although many countries have been successful in bringing death rates down.
German politicians today approved new legislation that requires employees to prove they are vaccinated, cured of Covid or have tested negative to access communal workplaces.
Meanwhile, in Belgium, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced a series of measures to try to avoid winter lockdown.
“All the warning signs are red. The map of Europe is quickly turning red, and we are the same, ”he said.
Children from ten years old will now have to wear masks and working at home at least four days a week will be made compulsory from Saturday.
The situation is also deteriorating in Italy and it is on the brink of a fourth lockdown as the number of daily cases hits its highest level since May.
The Netherlands has already introduced a partial lockdown and Austria will impose a lockdown for the two million unvaccinated people on Monday.
Elsewhere in Sweden, the government will introduce a Covid vaccination pass from December 1 for indoor events involving more than 100 people.
“You who are not vaccinated, you cannot continue as usual; your most important contribution is to get vaccinated, ”said Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren.
France is affected by a fifth wave of Covid with more than 20,000 cases reported on Wednesday.
Speaking on 20 Minutes, the country’s Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, said: “The fifth wave is now hitting France.”
He warned the situation could worsen with charts indicating a risk of more than “1,000 hospitalizations per day by January 2022”.
The Czech Republic announced new additional measures as cases soared to 22,479, with the country’s infection rate reaching 813 per 100,000 of the population last week.
Under the new measures introduced, most unvaccinated people will not be allowed to attend public events or go to bars or restaurants.
Italy has already tightened its green pass rules in a bid to slow the number of new cases before Christmas time.
Under new strict measures, trains can now be stopped if a passenger appears to be showing symptoms of Covid while taxi drivers are expected to have a Covid pass.
It comes as Spain may soon introduce vaccine passports for people to enter nightclubs and bars in a bid to curb the current peak of Covid.
While Spain’s vaccination rates are positive – with 79% of the population having both vaccines – Covid rates are increasing.
The country reported 88.6 cases per 100,000 over 14 days, a jump of 67%, according to El Pais.
That’s much lower than other hard-hit European destinations such as Germany and Belgium, but the spike has raised concerns about efforts to slow the spread.
This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been reprinted with permission