Months of lockdowns and pandemic restrictions are taking their toll on Europeans, with many chafing at the prolonged limitations on public life. With vaccine distribution now starting to pick up after a sluggish start in most countries, calls are mounting for an easing of restrictions. Britain is first up, with pressure building for easing after a blisteringly fast rollout of its inoculation program that’s already seen one in three adults in the country receive at least one vaccine dose. In a race against a faster-spreading variant of the virus, more than 18 million people in Britain have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, fueling demands for a speedy end to the country’s lockdown, the third since the pandemic emerged. The ruling Conservatives hope the success of the largest mass vaccination program in the country’s history will erase public memories of the missteps and reversals of last year, which saw ill-disguised clashes between the government, lawmakers and … [Read more...] about European Governments Resist Public Clamor for Easing of Pandemic Lockdown
Leaders from across the 27-nation bloc convened via videoconference on Thursday to thrash out joint approaches to the COVID-19 crisis. The topics of discussion included unilateral border closures and restrictions , the slowness of the EU's vaccine rollout and the thorny issue of so-called vaccine passports . The issues discussed Vaccine passports: Tourist-reliant southern European nations such as Greece and Spain urged the rapid adoption of an EU-wide vaccination certificate for travelers. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz backed the idea in an appearance on the online television channel of Germany's Bild newspaper. He said it would enable a restart to free travel in Europe and could help "secure and protect" struggling sectors like the arts, sports and gastronomy. Manfred Weber, the head of the conservative bloc in the European Parliament, has called for a speedy rollout of a vaccine passport in order to allow freedom of movement in the EU. "[A] vaccination … [Read more...] about Coronavirus: EU leaders consider vaccine passports
France on Thursday said it would tighten controls at the German border to curb the spread of coronavirus, which is spreading faster in the eastern Moselle region than elsewhere in France. "Strengthening of health measures at the Franco-German border in Moselle, from March 1," the Ministry of Solidarity and Health tweeted. From Monday, workers commuting between Germany and Moselle will have to submit to a weekly PCR test before being allowed to cross the border, Health Minister Olivier Veran and European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said in a statement. Watch video 12:01 Share Europeans cross borders to escape tough lockdowns Send Facebook Twitter reddit EMail Facebook Messenger Web Whatsapp Web Telegram linkedin Permalink https://p.dw.com/p/3pZRu Europeans cross borders to escape tough lockdowns The new measures follow a warning from the German government last week that it was considering … [Read more...] about Coronavirus: France announces new border checks with Germany
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country that is never far off the headlines. Sadly, there has scarcely been any positive news about the country. Its tumultuous history goes back to the 1870s when King Leopold II of Belgium orchestrated his private venture to colonize the Congo. As a young person growing up, I heard harrowing tales of how from 1885, following Leopold's announcement of the establishment of the Congo Free State, to the 1960s, over 15 million Congolese were brutally murdered. The hope that all this would end with independence was shattered with the killing in 1961 of the DRC's first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba . The country has been in a perpetually fragile state ever since. The murder of Italian Ambassador Luca Attanasio , his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci, and World Food Programme (WFP) driver Mustapha Milambo after the UN convoy they were travelling in was attacked near Goma, is a stark reminder that the DRC is still not ready to relinquish its … [Read more...] about Opinion: Another cold case in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
SCHOOLS won't have to enforce face masks or carry out regular testing on pupils, it was revealed today. Speaking to Good Morning Britain this morning, education minister Nick Gibb said twice-weekly testing will not be compulsory for pupils to go to school in England but remains “highly recommended”. With pupils returning to schools in March 8, Gibb confirmed a "no test, no school" policy is not in place but said he hopes the majority of students will volunteer to test themselves at home twice a week before coming in to school. "No, they’re not compulsory but we highly recommend it, it’s everybody doing everything we can to identify asymptomatic cases of Covid , helping to reduce the transmission," he said. "The first three tests will be taken in the school that will show the students how to do it most effectively and it’s the students themselves that will do it at home with supervision by their parents," he added. Meanwhile, normal summer exams have been ditched and … [Read more...] about Coronavirus news UK update – A Levels and GCSEs SCRAPPED for 2021 as schools told testing & masks won’t be compulsory