Drastic decisions in France and the Netherlands against Omicron

The recent evolution of the pandemic due to the new variant has led the authorities of these nations to tighten measures against the coronavirus.

The arrival of the Omicron variant has made the leaders of several countries of the world tighten the measures against the coronavirus. This new variant, with a higher transmission capacity, is already present in 89 countries, as confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO). One of these countries is France, which has at least 240 cases of this variant, while in the Netherlands they fear a sharp rise in cases due to Omicron.

The worrying situation in the coronavirus pandemic generated by the Omicron variant has led the authorities in the Netherlands to declare new strict confinement in order to try to stop the advance of the disease. This measure will begin to apply from this morning until next January 14. "The Netherlands enters confinement again. It is inevitable because the fifth wave comes with the omicron variant," confirmed Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Dutch country.

This situation will mean the closure of all non-essential activities, as well as of colleges and universities. In this way, only essential stores, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, and minimal services will remain open, but everything else, including shops, restaurants, cinemas, theaters or gyms.

In addition, a maximum of two guests per household per day will be allowed, but there will be an exception of four visitors per house during Christmas Eve, Christmas and San Esteban (December 26), and New Year's Eve, as reported by the EFE agency.

France bans street gatherings on New Year's Eve

The recent evolution of the pandemic in the neighboring country has led its leaders to take measures against COVID, despite having more than 70% of the population fully vaccinated. In the last four days, each one of them has exceeded 60,000 infections, in a fifth wave that arrives a few days after Christmas and that may exceed the daily maximum, reached on November 7 with 85,000 cases.

Faced with this situation, the Government of France has taken the decision to prohibit meetings on public roads during New Year's Eve, a date on which alcohol may not be consumed on public roads either. " Meetings and alcohol consumption on public roads will be prohibited and we will invite municipalities to renounce fireworks," said Jean Castex, French Prime Minister.

Third dose of the vaccine

In turn, the French Executive advocates promoting vaccination to contain the advance of the pandemic. Thus, the health card will become a "vaccination card" at the beginning of 2022. This measure is at the expense of its presentation in Parliament by means of a bill. In this way, during the next week, a preliminary consultation will be carried out and "any other useful provision to extend vaccination as far as possible."

On the other hand, the French Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, confirmed this Saturday that the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine will be mandatory for all health workers and firefighters from January 30 of next year. "We are going to strengthen the obligation to vaccinate health workers and firefighters by integrating the third dose as of January 30," explains Véran.