Norway is lifting most of its corona measures. From Tuesday evening at 11 p.m. there are no longer any restrictions on the serving of alcoholic beverages. According to the government, popular sports and other leisure activities can be resumed without restrictions, and cinemas, theaters and churches can be fully occupied again. Restrictions on participants will be lifted for meetings, as will the obligation to test for those entering the country.
However, the mask requirement in shops, on public transport and in other situations with possible crowds remains in place, as Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said at a press conference in Oslo. The general one-meter distance rule will also remain in force until further notice.
“Today we finally got where we can lift a lot of the infection control measures we’ve been living with over the winter,” Støre said. It is now known that the burden of disease from the omicron variant of the coronavirus is lower and that the vaccines provide good protection for many people in Norway. Therefore, many measures can be lifted, although the number of new infections is increasing rapidly. In order to remain in control, however, some measures would have to remain. The Norwegian government is aiming to lift the final restrictions by February 17 – if the situation develops as expected. (1.2.2022)
The unvaccinated can probably continue to work for the time being, despite the obligation to take care of vaccinations
According to a media report, the federal government has admitted for the first time that the occupational vaccination requirement in the healthcare system cannot be consistently implemented. Unvaccinated people should initially continue to work in hospitals and care facilities after March 15, a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health told the news website Business Insider.
Until the responsible health department has made the decision on a ban on entry or activity, “the employees concerned may continue to be employed,” the spokesman continued. Actually, from March 16th, all employees in nursing and medical professions must either have recovered or be fully vaccinated.
There have been doubts about the feasibility for weeks. The health authorities in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia and Berlin had already announced that they were overwhelmed with the checks required in each individual case. There are neither human nor technical resources for this. She is currently assuming that on average five to ten percent of the employees have no clear proof of vaccination or recovery or no complete vaccination protection, said Elke Bruns-Philipps, deputy chairwoman of the Federal Association of Doctors in the Public Health Service (BVÖGD). Rheinische Post. This large number of checks is not manageable.
According to the report, the Ministry of Health is planning to respond to the problem of the lack of feasibility with a new reporting system and low-threshold vaccination offers. According to this, “vaccination rate monitoring as comprehensive as possible in the mentioned facilities” is planned. The federal states should collect the vaccination rates in all medical and nursing facilities by the middle of the month and transmit them to the Federal Ministry of Health. (01.02.2022)
Kretschmann does not want to talk about easing before Easter
Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) sees no chance of the corona restrictions ending at least until mid-April. He does not see a debate about exit strategies before Easter, said the head of government in Stuttgart. “We are not starting a debate about exit strategies – that would be completely inappropriate and send the completely wrong signal.”
Baden-Württemberg recently tightened rules, he said with a view to the FFP2 mask requirement in local public transport. This will not be thwarted by “unfounded exit debates”. You are still in a dramatic situation. No loosening is planned for now.
Kretschmann said that until the next prime ministers’ conference in mid-February, one would closely monitor how the situation in the hospitals was developing. There are currently many complaints from overburdened medical practices, Kretschmann said. (01.01.2022)
Nationwide incidence rises to more than 1,200
The Robert Koch Institute reports 162,613 new positive tests within 24 hours. The nationwide seven-day incidence rises to a new high of 1206.2. The previous day it was 1176.8. However, these numbers are likely to be far too low. Experts assume a high and increasing number of cases that are not recorded in the RKI data, partly because testing capacities and health authorities are at their limit in many places. In addition, some cities and districts have been reporting problems with the transmission of the number of corona cases for days. 188 more people died within a day related to the virus. This increases the number of reported deaths to 117,974. (01.02.2022)
Denmark frees itself from corona restrictions
Despite a still high number of new infections, Denmark has freed itself from practically all corona restrictions. Since Tuesday, there are no longer any restrictions in the northern German neighboring country, apart from a few entry rules. For the time being, the obligation to wear mouth and nose protection is a thing of the past, as is proof of vaccinations, recovery and negative tests. Large events are permitted, as is visiting bars and discotheques.
All of this goes hand in hand with the fact that Covid-19 is no longer classified as a “socially critical illness”. The Danes acted similarly last September. But then the number of new infections rose sharply again, which is why the restrictions were reintroduced. Today, the EU country with almost six million inhabitants has a daily number of new infections in the mid five-digit range – highs that were hardly imaginable before the emergence of the omicron variant of the corona virus. The seven-day incidence is currently more than 5200.
However, the numbers are not having as much impact on the situation in hospitals and especially in intensive care units as feared. Milder courses of the disease and a high vaccination rate of a good 83 percent (first vaccination) are the main reasons why the Danes decided to relax comprehensively. (01.02.2022)
Biontech files US emergency use application for vaccine for children under five years old
According to a newspaper report, the corona vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer could be available for children under five in the United States in February. The drug companies are expected to file an emergency use authorization application for the dual vaccine for children ages six months to five years with the FDA on Tuesday, reports the FDA Washington Post. The vaccine could then be available as early as the end of February, the newspaper writes, citing people familiar with the approval process. Pfizer, Biontech and the FDA did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. (01.02.2022)
Again nationwide demonstrations against corona restrictions
Tens of thousands of people across Germany demonstrated again against the current corona measures. There were also counter-demonstrations in some cities on Monday evening. According to police, most meetings were peaceful.
But things were not peaceful everywhere: In Regensburg A 26-year-old suffered serious head injuries, police said. Paramedics then took him to a hospital. In addition, two groups clashed on the sidelines of a meeting, and several people were injured. A 23-year-old reportedly injured a police officer with kicks and punches.
In Lübeck around 1300 people protested against the corona restrictions on Monday evening. Overall, the meeting was peaceful, but shortly after the end there was an argument between participants on the way home and another group, the police said. The officials had recorded the personal details of the twelve involved. It is being investigated on suspicion of dangerous bodily harm.
About 9,000 people came to meetings and protests in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the police said. In Rostock the regulatory authority had banned several protests, but groups still moved through the city center. According to the information, firecrackers were thrown, the officials had to intervene several times. Several people were taken into custody. In Grimmen police officers were pelted with eggs from an apartment and insulted.
In Thuringia Around 25,000 people demonstrated against the measures. 25 people were reported, among other things, for violating the Assembly Act and resisting law enforcement officers. In Jena the police said that a critic of the measures was injured by a counter-demonstrator. (01.02.2022)