CM – The Netherlands announce a Christmas “lockdown” due to fear of Omicron

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The Netherlands announced a Christmas ban on Saturday and London declared a « serious incident » as Europe tries to contain the rising Covid-19 case numbers and the highly mutated Omicron strain prevails.

EU leader Ursula von der Leyen has warned that the Omicron variant could dominate Europe until mid-January.

Many countries are reintroducing travel restrictions and other measures weeks after the variant was first discovered in South Africa.

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that all non-essential shops, cultural and entertainment venues must close by January 14th, while schools will close at least until January 9th.

The Dutch are also subject to stricter restrictions on the number of people Guests who are allowed in their homes even though the officials made an exception on Christmas Day.

« To sum it up in one sentence, the Netherlands we They will be locked again from tomorrow, « Rutte told a televised press conference.

In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a » serious incident « in the British capital and called the fall wave » extremely worrying « .

Great Britain registered during Record numbers of cases for three days in a row over the week, leading to new regulations and reports that another lockdown is being considered. Most of the new cases registered in London are of the Omicron variant.

The German health department has meanwhile announced that it has placed Great Britain on a list of Covid high-risk countries, which will mean stricter restrictions for travelers.

The change, which comes into effect on Sunday at midnight, means that those arriving from the UK must adhere to a two-week quarantine regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated.

In France, a scientific panel has asked the government to « reduce the New Year celebrations » significantly Imposing restrictions « and the capital Paris announced » with regret « that it would cancel all events on the Champs Elysees.

Elsewhere in Europe, nervous governments are scaling back restrictions to combat the pandemic that began with the outbreak in China At least 5,335,968 people were killed in December 2019.

Ireland orders bars and restaurants to close at 8:00 p.m. hr are closing, Denmark is closing cinemas and other venues.

European countries are also pushing to distribute booster vaccinations and expand vaccination programs to children.

Portugal said tens of thousands of under 12s will get their first vaccination this weekend « If all goes well, we will start vaccinating children in specially adapted centers on the afternoon of December 22nd, » he told Radio France Inter.

It was the United States first big country to take the plunge and vaccinate more than five million under 12s.

In Denmark, one of the first European countries to start stabbing children, teenagers looked brave than they did Waiting for their vaccines.

« Everyone in the family was vaccinated, I was the last, » young Camelia told AFP. « I’m glad I did because now if I get Corona I won’t feel anything. »

Wearing masks, working from home and avoiding the crowd are essential to reduce the burden on health systems in the short term, the ECDC said.

And the global picture remains a matter of great concern as an AFP figure based on official figures suggests the number of new infections in Africa last week has increased by 57 percent.

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday before a forum of African heads of state and government that the continent’s low vaccination rate is « shameful for humanity ».

« We are us global injustice in access to the Covid-19 vaccine and the unfair treatment of Africa, « he said and promised to deliver 15 million doses of vaccine to the continent.

(With the exception of the headline was this story is not edited by NDTV staff and will be published via a syndicated feed.)

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