Coronavirus Netherlands News on January 23, 2021: Coronavirus Curfew Begins
- A night curfew begins in the Netherlands. It should initially apply until February 9th.
- AstraZeneca will initially deliver less vaccine to the EU than planned.
- EU Social Commissioner Schmit expresses concern about the rise in youth unemployment in Europe.
- British experts are puzzled by Premier Johnson's statement that the virus variant is deadlier. That is "not completely clear."
The Dutch are facing the heaviest anti-coronavirus measure to date. For the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, a curfew will apply across the country from Saturday. Citizens are no longer allowed to leave their apartments between 9:00 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. With this, the government wants to slow down the spread of the virus. The authorities are particularly concerned about the virus mutations. Therefore, there is also a ban on passenger flights from Great Britain, South Africa, and South America.
Violations of the curfew will result in a fine of 95 euros. Exceptions apply to people who have to travel for work and people who care for others or travelers. Walking the dog is also allowed. The curfew is currently in effect until February 9th.
The caretaker government had also tightened travel restrictions. Travelers from high-risk areas not only have to show a negative PCR test that is not older than 72 hours. You must also undergo a quick test a maximum of four hours before departure by plane, boat, train, or bus.
A lockdown has been in place since mid-December. Schools, shops and restaurants are closed. Private contacts are limited to one person outside of your own household. In the country with around 17 million inhabitants, around 13,500 deaths connected with Covid-19 have so far been registered.
AstraZeneca delivers less vaccine to EU than planned.
The British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is delivering less coronavirus vaccine to the European Union than initially planned. The background is production difficulties at a location "in our European supply chain," said a company spokesman on Friday. AstraZeneca will deliver many millions of cans to the EU in February and March. The spokesman did not comment on how much the expected delivery figures fall short of the originally planned volume.
According to information from the newspaper Kurier in Austria alone, only 600,000 instead of two million vaccine doses are expected in the first quarter. According to EU circles, the company warned EU states of possible delivery problems with its vaccine. The Bild newspaper had previously reported on it. The manufacturer has worked with Oxford University in the UK to develop a vaccine already in use in the UK. Approval in the European Union is also expected for the coming week.
As Bild reported, the vaccine has to be adapted after the mutations in some countries. Vaccine quantities already produced on stockpile may therefore not be able to be delivered. Besides, it is not yet clear what consequences the fire will have on a plant in India.
A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health said: "We continue to assume that Astrazeneca's vaccine will be approved for the EU at the end of next week. The EU has invested a lot in the pre-production of this vaccine. After approval, it will be clear how many vaccines will be used and when Germany is available. "
Scientist Mike Tildesley, a member of the Sage expert panel, also told the BBC that it was too early to be clear. "I would like to wait a week or two and do some analysis before we come to any firm conclusions." The number of deaths has increased slightly, from 10 to 13 per 1000 patients. "But that's based on a pretty small amount of data," said Tildesley. He was very surprised that Johnson announced the information at a press conference. "I'm concerned that we are rushing to report things when the data isn't significant," said Tildesley.
The previous evening, Prime Minister Johnson had said that there were "some indications" that the variant is more deadly than the previously prevalent one. The mutation B.1.1.7 had appeared in the southeastern county of Kent at the end of last year and had spread rapidly in London and parts of the country.
Ibiza is cordoned off due to the sharp rise in coronavirus numbers.
The Spanish holiday island of Ibiza, which is popular with Germans, will be largely cordoned off from Saturday until the end of the month due to the steep rise in coronavirus numbers. The island, which belongs to the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean like Mallorca, Menorca, and Formentera, can only be visited for a good reason, such as getting to work or the doctor as the German-language Mallorca newspaper reported on Friday.
The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within 14 days in Ibiza rose to more than 1,800 and reported the news agency Europa Press. The situation is also critical on the other Balearic Islands. Overall, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days in the Balearic Islands is 309. In Germany, this value was given as 115.
The Balearic Islands had the pandemic under control relatively well for a long time. The first "test vacationers" from Germany were welcomed here at the end of June, even before the official reopening of Spain's borders. However, the situation has been getting worse since mid-December.
Above all on Mallorca and the "Ballermann" party mile, which is particularly popular with Germans, but also on Ibiza, Menorca, and Formentera, aid organizations report a drastic increase in unemployment and poverty. In normal times, tourism contributes 35 percent to regional income.
On Friday, restaurateurs demonstrated again on Mallorca against the restaurants' closure and the, in their view, insufficient state aid. A rally was approved in which all participants had to stay in their cars. But in addition to several hundred vehicles, around 1,000 pedestrians also took part in the demo. The police did not intervene.
Carnival in Rio is completely canceled.
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. An initially planned postponement of the samba schools' move to July is not feasible, said the mayor of the Brazilian metropolis, Eduardo Paes, on Thursday (local time). "It makes no sense at the moment to believe that we will have the conditions to hold the Carnival in July," he wrote on Twitter.
He is aware of the economic importance of the carnival for the city. Every year the event attracts millions of tourists. However, it is impossible to cope with the enormous preparations. "Surely, in 2022 (all properly vaccinated), we will be able to celebrate life and our culture with all the intensity we deserve," added Paes.
The carnival was actually supposed to take place in February. The street carnival had been canceled for a long time, given the pandemic. The parades of the samba schools in the sambodrom should only be postponed. The Association of Samba Schools (LIESA) was hoping for a carnival in July but expressed understanding for the cancellation, as reported by the UOL portal. The uncertainty about the vaccination campaign is too great.
Brazil is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic. Vaccinations only started last Monday. In the largest Latin American country, more than 8.6 million people are infected with the coronavirus virus. About 214,000 patients have died in connection with Covid-19.
Coronavirus test when traveling to France is also mandatory for EU citizens.
European travelers will also have to show a negative coronavirus test when entering France in the future. This PCR test must not be older than 72 hours, as the office of President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday night after an EU video summit. The regulation applies from Sunday at midnight.
Exceptions are provided for "essential" trips - this applies above all to cross-border commuters and goods' movement. It was initially unclear whether other reasons for travel would be considered exceptions.
Because of the new coronavirus variants, France had recently tightened border controls. For example, when entering France from countries outside the European Union, a negative coronavirus test must be presented. The travelers should also isolate themselves for seven days. At the beginning of the week, France had already emphasized that it wanted to campaign for health controls at European borders at the digital EU summit.
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