In previous articles, we had a look at vaccination status and regulations in Asia, North America, and Oceania. This time look at the situation of European countries. The information is current as of August 12, 2021.
What are the latest developments in Europe?
In Europe, the completed vaccination rate is relatively high, and there had been noticeable movements toward deregulations, but it seems that the adjustments have been made due to the spread of the delta variant.
Let's take a look at the data on vaccinations and regulations in each country. Data on vaccinations is based on Our World in Data (https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations) (12 Aug. 2021).
UK: Searching for coexistence with Corona
Number of vaccinations received: 87 million
Required number of vaccinations completed (all shots taken): 39.8 million
Percentage of required vaccinations completed (all shots taken): 59.8%
Full relaxation of the restrictions after one month delay
In the UK, all the restrictions as a countermeasure against the Covid-19 were lifted on July 19. More than 50,000 new cases were found on July 17, and there were also many concerns about the deregulation during the surge of infections, but as of July 27, the number of newly infected people decreased to 23, 500 for the seventh consecutive day.
The possible main reasons for this are that summer break had started at schools, that people had started meeting outside, and that personal alert level had increased, but premier Johnson continues to urge the public not to come to the early conclusion that the pandemic is over.
France: Corona deaths have fallen by an average of 100 per day since last October
Number of vaccinations received: 78.7 million
Required number of vaccinations completed (all shots taken): 34.4 million
Percentage of required vaccinations completed (all shots taken): 51.4%
Pros and cons on the introduction of the vaccine passport
Since August 9, France has expanded the scope of the vaccine passport, which indicates the completion of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine passports have already been introduced for museums, cinemas, amusement parks, festivals, stadiums, sports gyms, swimming pools, and other facilities since July 21, but from August 9, the system has been applied to restaurants and bars, as well as airplanes and long-distance buses.
National opinion is divided into two on this matter: the pro-vote faction that it is natural in the sense of not infecting others and the opposition that their freedom is restricted.
Germany: Vaccination rate slows
Number of vaccinations received: 96.3 million
Required number of vaccinations completed (all shots taken): 46.7 million
Percentage of vaccines completed (all shots taken): 56.2%
Promote vaccinations, antigen testing will no longer be free
Antigen testing had been available free of charge since March in Germany. However, the vaccine is now immediately available for those who wish to receive, so they have announced that the test would be charged from October 11, 2021.
Also, it has been agreed at a meeting with state premiers that districts where infected people per 100,000 population exceeds 35 in seven days must require people to show a proof of full vaccinations or negative test result when eating at restaurants.
Netherlands: Re-strengthened Corona regulation measures
Number of vaccinations received: 21.1 million
Required number of vaccinations completed (all shots taken): 9.99 million
Percentage of required vaccinations completed (all shots taken): 57.8%
Prime minister apologizes for deregulation
The Netherlands had gradually relaxed the COVID-19 regulations since June, taking into account the decrease in the number of hospitalized patients and the increase in the number of vaccinations, and almost all of the regulations were lifted.
However, because many young people went out due to the resumption of nightlife, the infection rate reached the worst of the year. Prime Minister Rutte apologized for the wrong decision to lift the restrictions, and on July 9, restriction measures were taken again for bars, restaurants, nightclubs, etc.
Italy: Lifted the obligation to wear a mask outdoors
Number of vaccinations received: 72.9 million
Required number of vaccinations completed (all shots taken): 34.1 million
Percentage of required vaccinations completed (all shots taken): 56.5%
Green Pass is introduced
On July 29, Italian Prime Minister Draghi announced that they would require the presentation of "Green Pass" certificate, which shows that people have been vaccinated, when entering indoor facilities such as museums, cinemas, and restaurants from next month. This will be the same system as in France, with the aim of increasing the number of people to get vaccinated.
EU: Movement restrictions are relaxed on vaccinated in-area travelers
On July 1, the EU officially introduced "EU Digital COVID Certificate" which is common throughout the region. The certificate records the history of COVID-19 vaccination and the negative PCR test result, and as a rule, people will be exempt from voluntary isolation and testing by presenting a QR code.
In Europe, the movement to relax regulations with vaccination requirements seems to be the prevailing theme. Countries such as France and Italy have introduced so-called vaccine passports to control the vaccination status. The key is if the number of vaccinations will increase as aimed, and if the current vaccine is also effective against the Delta variant.