Is there ever an end to the corona crisis? After a tough year and a half, full of lockdowns and freedom restriction measures, many people are ready for a party or holiday. Whats happening today? Follow the latest COVID news here.
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22.55 — Italian coronapas will later be compulsory in education and ov
The Italian government has announced new corona measures in education and public transport. Travelers and teachers must demonstrate that they have been vaccinated, negatively tested, or cured with a health pass from September onwards. Passengers need such a pass when travelling on trains, buses, ferries or airplanes, for example.
According to Italian media, the new education rules apply to both schools and universities. There, employees will be able to be suspended after five days if they cannot demonstrate compliance with health regulations. Then their salary will no longer be paid, Education Minister Patrizio Bianchi warned at a press conference.
Italy is trying to slow down the spread of the coronavirus by making the pass mandatory in more and more places. Tourists are also experiencing the consequences of that. For example, everyone 12 years or older needs such a health certificate from Friday to eat indoors at restaurants and access public venues such as cinemas and museums.
In Italy, about 60 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Yet the number of corona infections is rising again. Authorities reported 6596 new corona cases on Wednesday, 15 percent more than a week earlier. Especially in popular holiday destinations such as Sardinia and Sicily, the virus quickly seizes around it.
17.05 — French Council agrees to contested coronapas and measures
The French Constitutional Council agrees to the contested law that tightens corona vaccinations compulsory for healthcare workers and other French corona measures. The law also regulates the use of the coronapass that, for example, allows restaurant guests to prove that they have been vaccinated or not infected with the virus.
The Constitutional Council is a judicial supervisor who, among other things, checks whether laws comply with the Constitution. So, according to the Council, that is the case with most of the new measures, which will continue to apply until at least 15 November.
Some clauses have been deleted because the Council declares them illegal. For example, the compulsory quarantine for anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and enforcement has been removed from the law. Also, care workers who cannot show negative tests or refuse vaccination may be suspended, but employers should not fire them.
The law was passed by the French Parliament on 26 July and received a lot of criticism. Hundreds of thousands of people went out to the streets in several cities in protest over the past few weeks. Critics believe that the rules are excessive and violate citizens private lives. In Germany, too, criticism of similar plans by the government sounds.
Starting August 9, it is mandatory to show your “pass sanitary” in hospitality stores, some malls and long distance travel by train or plane. This pass allows people to prove that they have been vaccinated or tested negatively. Since the end of July, the pass has been used for museums, cinemas and event venues.
16.00 — The whole of the Netherlands red on corona map
The number of corona cases falling in the Netherlands is now also reflected on the European corona map. All twelve provinces are now red, the second highest level.
Last week North Holland, Groningen, Utrecht, South Holland, North Brabant, Gelderland, Overijssel and Limburg were still on dark red, the highest level. Flevoland, Friesland, Zeeland and Drenthe remain red.
The corona card is made every Thursday by the ECDC, the European equity of the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM). The organization looks at the number of positive tests in the past two calendar weeks and the percentage of positive tests. The card has four colours: green, orange, red and dark red. The peak of the current corona wave, about three weeks ago, no longer counts for this weeks map and therefore the colours may be slightly down.
In other countries, the number of corona cases is increasing. The Mediterranean coast in France goes from red to dark red. It concerns the Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur regions (with cities such as Marseille, Cannes and Nice) and Occitania (Toulouse, Montpellier, Nîmes). The same goes for the regions.Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia in southern Spain. Normandy, the Nantes region and northeast France (Metz, Strasbourg, Reims) go from orange to red. That is also the case for Tuscany in Italy.
Portugal remains red and Greece is mostly red like last week. In countries such as Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland and Estonia, the colour goes up as the number of positive tests increases.
Countries use the corona map to base entry rules on it. If the Netherlands falls further, countries such as Germany and France can decide to ease the rules for Dutch holidaymakers a little. Whether and when the Netherlands can drop to orange and green also depends on the percentage of positive tests. Thats too high for a step down now.
10.18 p.m. France will give risk groups third vaccination against the coronavirus as of September
, as of September, France is going to give people in risk groups a third vaccination against the coronavirus. President Emmanuel Macron says in a video on his Instagram that a third shot is most likely necessary for elderly people and people with health problems.
More and more countries are giving people in risk groups the opportunity to get a third shot in order to be even better protected against the coronavirus. The so-called booster is already offered in Israel and Germany and the United States are planning to offer it. The third dose is offered due to the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.
Macron said in the video that a third vaccination is needed for some people, as the number of antibodies decreases over time. This increases the likelihood of severe disease progression or mortality in people at risk groups. A third vaccination can counter that, according to the French President.
10.00 – Travel advice for number of European countries from green to yellow
A number of European countries that previously had green travel advice will receive a yellow travel advice on Friday based on RIVMs advice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports.
It concerns Italy, the North Aegean Islands in Greece, Estonia, Iceland, San Marino and Vatican City. This is due to the rising corona figures in those countries.
The Ministry warns that travel advisory rules will change as of Sunday. A yellow travel advice means that travelers 12 years and older from these countries must present a corona proof upon return to the Netherlands. It can be a vaccination certificate, negative test results, or evidence that they have recently had and recovered corona. The negative test may be a PCR test of up to 48 hours old, or an antigen test of up to 24 hours old. For people who come from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus or Andorra, that is already true.
People who have been in a country with yellow travel advice receive urgent advice to self-test or get tested at the GGD after arrival.
Croatias color code changes from yellow to green on August 6, says Foreign Affairs.
09.00 – US want to allow vaccinated tourists from almost all over the world
The United States wants to admit virtually all foreign tourists, as long as they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. President Joe Bidens government is working on a plan for this system, which cannot enter into force until current travel measures are lifted. Its still unclear when that can happen.
Multiple government organizations are working together on the new system. The White House aims to stimulate the aviation industry and tourism industry. It is not clear whether the system will apply to passengers who dont come by plane, such as those from neighboring Mexico and Canada.
Currently, the US does not allow travelers who have spent time in the UK, the Schengen countries in the European Union (including the Netherlands), Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil in the last fourteen days. Travel restrictions were first introduced for China, in January 2020, and the last one on the list was India in May. Critics of this system find this list illogical, as there are countries with high contagion rates that are not on it.
5.53 AM Record number of infections in Sydney after six weeks of lockdown
Corona infections and deaths caused by the coronavirus have reached a new record in the Australian city of Sydney, despite a nearly six week lockdown. Authorities, which are difficult to control the Delta variant outbreak of the virus, report five coronadodes and 259 new coronavirus infections in the city on Thursday.
Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian of New South Wales State, where Sydney is part of, said at a press conference that none of the coronadodes had been fully vaccinated. She called residents.of the regions inaccination again and continue to follow the corona measures. “I cant stress enough how important a high rate of vaccination is to get out of this situation.”
An end of the lockdown does not seem to be in sight, despite the authorities ambition to have vaccinated more than six million residents of the state by the end of the month. It worries the authorities that around 20 percent of the infected people have been in the community every day and have been able to spread the virus further.
Also in the neighbouring state of Victoria, there is also a good shock after seven new corona infections were reported on Thursday. The authorities did not exclude a short lockdown, but were unable to give an explanation on that Thursday. “We want to avoid what happens in Sydney, where the situation is no longer under control,” Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews told the Sydney Morning Herald.
5.25 AM More corona infections and hospital admissions in Antilles
Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten, the number of corona infections has been increasing considerably since several weeks. The number of COVID patients in hospital is also rising. According to experts, the highly contagious Delta variant is responsible for the increase.
On smaller Bonaire, sixteen contamination spreads on some 20,000 inhabitants are relatively limited. Saint Eustatius and Saba have not known infections for many months.
But on Curaçao, there were 548 infected people on a population of 160,000 inhabitants on Wednesday. The hospital has 21 corona patients, five of whom are in intensive care. By comparison, three weeks earlier there were 48 more infected, four patients were in hospital with Covid-19 and no one in intensive care.
Aruba, with about 100,000 inhabitants, is doing a percentage worse. The island experienced 630 infections and nineteen hospital admissions on Wednesday, five of which are in intensive care. About three weeks earlier, there were 158 infected persons, nine admissions and four patients in intensive care.
At St. Maarten (44,000 inhabitants) there were 132 infected persons, three weeks earlier that there were 44; thirteen people with corona are in hospital, compared to two people three weeks earlier.
The Minister of Health, Social Development and Labour of Saint Martin Omar Ottley mentions the situation worrying and said Wednesday that the country should move to tougher measures if the trend continues.
In Curaçao and Aruba, too, the introduction of stricter measures seems unusable. But both governments want to do everything they can to prevent the re-introduction of a lockdown. So far, the publics responsibility to adhere to the corona measures has been particularly appealed to.
03.35 a.m. The Netherlands goes from dark red to red on European corona map
Large parts of the Netherlands probably no longer colour dark red on the map of corona cases in Europe as of Thursday. Groningen, Utrecht, South Holland, North Brabant, Gelderland, Overijssel and Limburg can probably take a step back to red. Flevoland, Friesland, Zeeland and Drenthe had that colour. Only North Holland probably stays on dark red.
The corona card is made every Thursday by the ECDC, the European equity of the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM). The organization looks at the number of positive tests in the past two calendar weeks and the percentage of positive tests. The card has four colours: green, orange, red and dark red. Because the number of corona cases in the Netherlands decreases and the peak of the current corona wave no longer counts, the colours can be slightly down.
Countries use the corona map to base their entry rules on. The fact that the Netherlands remains red can mean that the restrictions that countries such as Germany, France and Norway have imposed for Dutch holidaymakers will remain in place a little longer. They can also advise their own residents to spend holidays in the Netherlands.
Whether and when the Netherlands can drop even further, towards orange and green, also depends on the percentage of positive tests. Thats too high for a step down now.
03.31 French Constitutional Council decides on new corona measures
The French Constitutional Council decides on a controversial bill making corona vaccinations mandatory for healthcare workers and further tightening the French corona measures. The proposal is controversial and led to a lot of criticism in France. The council is a judicial supervisor who, among other things, checks whether laws comply with the Constitution.
The French Parliament approved the proposal on 26 July. If the board agrees, themeasures are valid until November 15. Since August 1, it is mandatory to show a coronapas in hospitality stores, some malls, and for long distance trips by train or plane. This pass allows people to prove that they have been vaccinated or tested negatively. Since the end of July, the pass has been used for museums, cinemas and event venues.
Critics of the restrictive measures argue that they are excessive and mainly affect children and poor. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent weeks to express their dissatisfaction.