One of these days, due to the epidemiological situation, the rules for entering the European Union will be changed – European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides warned about this on Thursday, noting that Europe is facing a “very difficult winter.” Perhaps this is a reaction to the recent forecast of the Director of the WHO European Office Hans Kluge, who predicted that with the onset of cold weather, a new covid rampart would claim the lives of half a million Europeans.
Exactly what changes await foreigners when entering the EU has not yet been specified. But we saw a clue in the measures being taken in the eurozone right now.
Recall that the director of the WHO European Bureau called the next wave of coronavirus, the approaching cold weather, low vaccination rates in a number of countries and the emergence of more infectious strains as the reason for the gloomy forecast. And the European health commissioner noted that the situation with the spread of coronavirus on the continent requires a revision of the rules for crossing the borders of the European Union, adding that the most important thing is vaccination. And then every sovereign state that is part of the EU must take decisive measures based on its indicators.
Slovakia was the first to react: here, on the same day, a full nationwide two-week lockdown was introduced, combined with an emergency announcement for a period of 3 months.
“For a country with a population of five million, the situation is critical – more than 10 thousand cases per day,” explains the capital’s travel agency, where skiing in the Slovak Tatras was recently praised. – As of the end of May, Slovakia was one of the most prosperous in the region: only 5 deaths from covid for every million inhabitants. The restrictions were lifted, tourists were allowed in – and this is the result. In general, everything is closed in the country, except for grocery stores. Lockdown is officially until December 8, but it is believed that a number of restrictions may persist until spring.
According to reports from the Slovak authorities, emphasizing that all troubles are from the unvaccinated, citizens of the country are prohibited from leaving their homes since Thursday without a good enough reason – such as: visiting the nearest pharmacy or grocery store, walking the dogs (no more than 500 meters from the house), a trip to the doctor, veterinarian or work. But everyone whose work can be carried out remotely is strongly recommended to be switched to remote mode. The Slovak authorities also referred to attendance at weddings, christenings and funerals as valid reasons for leaving the house.
– But will shops with restaurants open by Christmas? Still a holy holiday: Christmas sales, geese with apples …
– Hardly. Lockdown is two weeks old, and the emergency is already three months old. All public events have been canceled until the end of the year, and their venues are closed. If you go outside at night, you will be taken to the police station. Now the course is towards universal vaccination, the military has been thrown to help the doctors.
– Will they stab at the barrel of a machine gun?
– No, but those who are not vaccinated, but want to work, will require a new PCR test every day.
In response to the new covid challenges, Italy is introducing the Super Green Pass on December 6, a health pass that will indicate vaccination or postponed covid information with dates.
“The Italians are already laughing that this“ super certificate ”will be more important than the passport of an EU citizen,” the travel agency says. – You can’t go anywhere without it. At the same time, without vaccination, even with a negative PCR, such a “covid health passport” will not be given, only a simple Green Pass, with which you can only go to grocery stores, public transport and your own office. And then its shelf life today was reduced from 3 days to 2. And every two days it is quite ruinous to take the test.
– And for how long?
– Until January 15, and then according to the situation.
– That is, a merry Christmas is not expected in Italy either?
– Well, definitely not for tourists. But the Italians themselves will find the “super-certificate” useful in epidemiologically safe regions of the country, where restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, theaters, cinemas and stadiums remain open. There, if a new wave of covid does not catch up with them, even Christmas mass entertainment events are planned.
According to the Italian authorities, from December 15, vaccination will cease to be voluntary, becoming compulsory for the security forces (military and police), as well as for clerks of the health sector. As for the doctors themselves, they are prescribed the obligatory 3rd – the so-called “booster” dose of the vaccine.
France went even further, reducing the duration of one PCR test from 72 hours not to 48, like the Italians, but only to one day. Also, the French sanitary passes issued to the vaccinated from January 15 will be canceled if their owner does not revaccinate within 7 months from the receipt of the last dose. And without a “sanitary passport” in France, you can only sit at home, ordering croissants at home.
Denmark, where the epidemiological situation is also rapidly deteriorating, plans to introduce a mask regime in all public places, including transport (previously there was no such regime in the country).
But the Cypriot authorities have obliged even children from 6 years old to wear masks – everywhere, including kindergartens, schools and playgrounds, and they are introducing covid passports for them, as for adults. From mid-December, all residents of Cyprus are required to undergo revaccination, without which even children will not be able to get into public places. True, in Cyprus they still hope to save Christmas. According to the island’s health minister, Mikalis Hadjipantelas, this is possible “only through cooperation and individual responsibility.”
“It’s clear what changes there may be in the rules of entry,” says Rita Koch, a resident of Germany. – The unvaccinated will not be allowed in at all – neither into the EU, nor countries within the EU to each other. A new, very dangerous strain has just been discovered in South Africa, and this country is doing active business with Holland, every day there are a lot of people here and there. A new viral agent has also been discovered in Hong Kong, and every third German company is tied to this place.
In general, specific changes to the entry into the EU will still be announced to us, but the fact that the unvaccinated Christmas goose cannot be seen is clear even now.