(Reuters) – France has introduced mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for health and care home workers in an effort to prevent a new wave of the virus in the autumn that would throttle the economy just as it starts to recover. Following is a summary of some of the COVID-19 precautions being taken by France and other […]
Factbox – European nations’ plans for coping with COVID-19
(Reuters) – France has introduced mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for health and care home workers in an effort to prevent a new wave of the virus in the autumn that would throttle the economy just as it starts to recover.
Following is a summary of some of the COVID-19 precautions being taken by France and other big European countries:
All healthcare and care home workers, home aids and urgent care technicians must have had at least their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 15. Authorities said as of Sept. 7 around 84% of staff in care homes and healthcare establishments had received two vaccine shots.
France aims to have administered a third shot to some 18 million people by early 2022, an official said in late August after a top health advisory body recommended a booster shot for those aged 65 and over, and for those at risk from existing medical conditions.
The French authorities require a COVID-19 health pass that proves the holder has had the vaccine or recently tested negative for COVID-19, or recovered from the illness in the last six months. Without it, people cannot enter bars, restaurants, museums or sports venues.
All travellers, except those fully vaccinated, must present a negative COVID-19 test.
Face coverings are required on public transport and in all public spaces.
Twelve million French children, who returned to school from their summer break in early September, wearing masks, were told by head teachers and President Emmanuel Macron that they should get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has indicated it will scrap plans for vaccine passports to be required to get into nightclubs, end some of its emergency COVID-19 powers and use lockdowns only as a last resort.
The policy is different in Scotland, where the devolved government will require vaccine passports for entry to nightclubs and other large social gatherings from late September.
Johnson will lean on vaccines and testing to try to contain COVID-19 heading into autumn and winter. British officials on Sept. 14 recommended COVID-19 boosters be given to all vulnerable people and those aged over 50, six months after their second dose.
All 12- to 15-year-olds in England will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine after top medical advisers said children would benefit from reduced disruption to their education.
Health Minister Sajid Javid said on Sept. 14 that it was “highly likely” the government would require frontline health and social care workers in England to be vaccinated.
In July, formal limits on social contact, the instruction to work from home and mandates to wear face masks were eliminated.
All travellers ages 12 and older must submit proof of vaccination, a proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the last six months or a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the country by air, land, or sea.
Medical grade masks are required on public transport.
Vaccinations are not compulsory for any workers in Germany. More states are leaving it up to businesses such as restaurants or sports stadiums as to whether they allow in people with negative tests, or only those who have been vaccinated or have recently recovered from COVID-19.
From Oct. 11, COVID-19 tests will stop being free of charge, so as to convince people to get vaccinated.
The country’s medicines agency in early September approved use of a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines for vulnerable groups of the population.
Italy has been extending the usage of so-called Green Pass health documents, which are currently needed for long-distance and inter-city travel, access to many leisure activities and are also obligatory for school and university workers.
The pass shows whether someone has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, has tested negative or has recently recovered from the virus.
Vaccination is compulsory for all health workers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nursing and care homes staff.
Italy may also eventually make COVID-19 inoculations compulsory for everyone of eligible age when EU authorities give full approval to vaccines, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Sept. 1.
It is compulsory to wear a mask in all indoor places in Italy, which has the second-highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe, after Britain, and the eighth-highest in the world.
Source: Government websites, Reuters reporting
(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Aditi Sebastian in Bengaluru, and Emilio Parodi in Milan; Editing by Keith Weir, Philippa Fletcher and Alex Richardson)