The Netherlands was left under a new shutdown on Sunday, while the possibility of more Covid-19 restrictions being imposed before Christmas and New Years holidays It loomed over several European countries as the omicron variant spread rapidly.
In the United States, the White House medical adviser, el doctor Anthony Fauci urged people traveling to visit loved ones to get boosters and to always wear masks in crowded public spaces.
He said omicron is “taking the world by storm” and that travel will increase the risk of infection even among vaccinated people. Since the beginning of the month, Covid cases in the United States are up 50 percent, according to a Reuters tally.
Bleak images in Dutch urban centers
Dutch urban centers showed bleak images after the country put in a sudden blockade that ruined people’s Christmas plans.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the measure Saturday night, ordering the closure of all but essential stores, as well as restaurants, hair salons, gyms, museums and other public places from Sunday until at least January 14.
Ómicron, a highly contagious variant first detected last month in southern Africa and Hong Kong, has run all over the world and has been reported in 89 countries, according to World Health Organization.
The entity said that omicron cases double in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community transmission.
More European governments evaluate more measures
While the Netherlands has shut down much of public life to prevent its healthcare system from being overwhelmed, several European governments are considering additional restrictions, at a time when companies are counting on people spending more than usual on purchases, entertainment and travel.
COVID infections are on the rise in 64 of 240 countries and territories tracked by Reuters, with 12 nations registering more cases than at any time during the pandemic, including the UK.
Sajid Javid, the British Health Minister, rejected on Sunday to rule out the possibility that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government will impose more restrictions before Christmas.
He said the government is taking the “sobering” advice of its scientists seriously and is watching the data closely.
Problems for Boris Johnson
Johnson is facing trouble after a series of scandals and missteps, and more than 100 of his conservative lawmakers this week voted against the latest government action to address what it had warned would be a “tidal wave” of omicron cases. .
In Italy, the government is considering new measures to prevent an increase in infections during the holiday period, local newspapers reported Sunday.
After meeting with ministers on December 23, Prime Minister Mario Draghi could order that people who have been vaccinated must also present a negative test to access crowded places, including nightclubs and stadiums, the daily Corriere della Sera reported.
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach ruled out a closure on the Christmas season on Sunday, but warned that a fifth wave of Covid-19 could no longer be stopped, adding that it viewed mandatory vaccination as the only way to end the pandemic.
In Spain, we must wait for the meeting that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, will hold with the regional presidents next Wednesday afternoon to find out if any measure will be adopted.