back to telecommuting in UK, school closures and reduced nightlife in Denmark

New turn of the screw in Europe in the face of the progression of the pandemic and the arrival of the new variant, Omicron. The United Kingdom announced the return to telework on Monday, Denmark the closure of schools, the limitation of nightlife and the generalization of telework.

The pandemic has killed at least 5.26 million people worldwide since the end of 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse from official sources, Tuesday, December 7. The WHO estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the pandemic in the world could be two to three times higher, or 10 to 15 million deaths.

  • United Kingdom: return of teleworking; implementation of the vaccination passport, in certain places, in England

In the streets of London on December 5, 2021.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced a tightening of restrictions to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom, including the return to telework on Monday and the introduction of the vaccine passport for certain large gatherings.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that Omicron is spreading much faster than the previous Delta variant”, with 568 cases of contamination by this new variant identified to date in the United Kingdom, and a real figure “Certainly much higher”Mr Johnson said at a press conference.

Noting that the number of cases due to Omicron appeared to double every two or three days in the country, and without prejudging the severity of the symptoms caused by the variant, the conservative leader stressed that “This exponential growth could lead to a sharp increase in hospitalizations and, therefore, unfortunately, deaths”. “That’s why switch to plan B” restrictions in England is “The proportionate and reasonable thing to do”, time to speed up the vaccine booster campaign, he added.

As of Monday, the government therefore asks employees to work from home ” If it’s possible “. The vaccination passport, disputed by some deputies of the majority, conservative, is introduced for the first time in England, in the discotheques and in all the places which can gather more than 10 000 people.

  • Denmark: school closures, widespread teleworking and reduced nightlife

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on December 3, 2021.

Closure of schools, limitation of nightlife, generalization of teleworking: the Danish Prime Minister has announced a slew of measures to curb the new wave of Covid-19 in the country.

“We know how important school attendance is for the well-being of children and youth. This is why we are adding a few days on both sides of the Christmas holidays, but the plan is not to have another long shutdown ”, Mette Frederiksen said at a press conference, referring to “Extended vacation” and assuring wanting “Keep society open as much as possible”.

  • Omicron appears to have higher reinfection rate, WHO warns

Omicron appears to cause a higher rate of reinfection, but also less severe symptoms, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

“Preliminary data from South Africa suggests a risk of reinfection” people cured of the disease or vaccinated “Higher with Omicron, but more data is needed to draw firmer conclusions”, cautiously declared the boss of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“There is also some evidence that Omicron causes less severe symptoms than Delta – currently the most common variant – but again it is too early to be sure”, he added.

The World with AFP