Tag Archives: vaccination

Merkel antivaxers exclusion

Brussels 02.12.2021 Angela Merkel has announced a de facto lockdown of the unvaccinated, and that Germany’s parliament Bundestag will soon vote on making vaccination mandatory.

Germany’s outgoing Chancellor has announced that the authorities will be barring the unvaccinated from events, leisure facilities, and all non-essential retail.

Such restrictions are already in place in some states in Germany, but they will soon be rolled out nationwide, the Associated Press reports.

Merkel has also revealed that the German parliament will be asked to decide on whether to make vaccination against the Chinese coronavirus mandatory for all, with a mandate possibly coming into force as early as February next year — adding that she would vote for such a move herself if she was still had a seat in the legislature.

“The situation in our country is serious,” Merkel insisted, calling the new measures an “act of national solidarity”.

According to Deutsche Welle, a draft agreement worked on by both Merkel and Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz, of the leftist Social Democratic Party (SPD), also discusses forcing the unvaccinated to limit their personal contacts, mandating the wearing of masks in schools, and capping the number of people allowed in buildings and at outdoor events.

It is increasingly difficult to convince the citizens to participate in the ongoing III stage of the experiment while the previous two vaccinations did not deliver an obvious positive result.

Gibraltar cancels Xmas

Brussels 17.11.2018 Gibraltar’s government officials announced that all Christmas events, parties, official receptions and similar gatherings have been cancelled.

The general public was also advised to avoid social events and parties for the next four weeks. For all group activities, outdoor spaces are recommended over indoor ones, touching and hugging is discouraged, and mask wearing is advised, and social distance is recommended.

Gibraltar’s entire eligible population is vaccinated, but amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Gibraltar officials are taking no chances with Christmas mass events.

“The drastic increase in the numbers of people testing positive for COVID-19 in recent days is a stark reminder that the virus is still very prevalent in our community and that it is the responsibility of us all to take every reasonable precaution to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” Health Minister Samantha Sacramento said.

EUCO: EU Summit conclusions on pandemic

Brussels 22.10.2021 European Council conclusions on COVID-19:
“Vaccination campaigns around Europe have brought about significant progress in the fight against COVID-19. Nevertheless the situation in some Member States remains very serious. In order to further increase vaccination rates throughout the Union, efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy should be stepped up, including by tackling disinformation, notably on social media platforms. It is necessary to remain vigilant regarding the emergence and spread of possible new variants.

“In light of the development of the epidemiological situation, the European Council calls for further coordination to facilitate free movement within, and travel into, the EU, and for a revision of the two Council recommendations. It encourages the Commission to accelerate its work regarding mutual recognition of certificates with third countries.

“Based on the experiences of the COVID-19 crisis, the EU’s resilience to and horizontal preparedness for crises must be strengthened. To ensure better prevention of, preparedness for and response to future health emergencies in the EU, the European Council calls for the conclusion of the negotiations on the Health Union legislative package and for ensuring that Member States are adequately involved in the governance of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). It recalls the need to swiftly take work forward on access to medicines across Member States.

“The European Council reiterates the EU’s continued commitment to contributing to the international response to the pandemic and to ensuring access to vaccines for all. It calls for the rapid removal of obstacles hampering the global roll-out of vaccines, and invites the Commission to further engage directly with manufacturers in this respect. This will allow Member States to speed up the delivery of vaccines to countries most in need. The EU will continue to support the production and uptake of vaccines in partner countries.

“In the context of the upcoming G20 meeting and in view of the special session of the World Health Assembly in November, the European Council underlines its support for a strong, central role of the World Health Organization in future global health governance and for the objective of agreeing an international treaty on pandemics”.

EU welcomes American tourists

Brussels 20.06.2021 Americans are admitted to visit the European Union again, vaccinated or not. The European Council has updated its list of countries whose citizens and residents should be allowed to travel freely to the bloc’s of 27 states, and the United States is finally on it.

But before you purchase ticket, be aware there may be catches. In fact, there could be 27 different combinations of them. While the updated list published Friday is a recommendation on who may be granted entry based on their home country’s health situation, each EU government makes its own border decisions.

This includes what nationalities to admit, whether to require PCR test or rapid antigen coronavirus test upon arrival, and whether quarantine is mandatory. And while the European Commission, the EU executive branch, emphatically urges countries to coordinate such rules with their neighbours to ensure mobility, that plea has often fallen on deaf administrative ears.

The European Council has officially recommended European Union member states to lift restrictions on non-essential travel from the U.S. That’s welcome news for the many Americans that have been holding out hope of taking a post-pandemic European vacation this summer.

Several others were also added today to the E.U.’s so-called “white list” of nations, territories and special administrative regions from which leisure travel is allowed: Albania, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Macau, North Macedonia, Serbia and Taiwan.

This latest move by the EU institutions have a long way toward restoring Transatlantic travel in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, something which airlines have been pressing U.S. and E.U. officials to actively support as vaccination rates improve on both sides of the Atlantic.

Still, it’s important to note that the Council’s recommendations aren’t legally binding and that each member state is responsible for implementing these guidelines.

Bloc members can also choose to impose added regulations as they see appropriate, including quarantine, testing or vaccination requirements.

Spain welcomes vaccinated tourists

Brussels 07.06.2021 The Spanish government has published the new requisites for travellers arriving in the country from outside the European Union and countries associated with the Schengen free-travel area. (Image: Valencia, Spain).

As was expected, the text released in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on Saturday states that from today, passengers from risk zones will be permitted to enter Spain if they have been administered the full doses of a Covid-19 vaccine approved by either the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA), more than 14 days prior to arrival.

No proof of vaccination, recovery or diagnostic test will be required from tourists from low-risk zones, said the government in a release, although everyone will still have to fill out the travel form available on Spain Travel Health (SpTH).

Once the European Union’s Digital Covid-19 pass goes into effect on July 1, this will also enable travellers to prove their immunity to the coronavirus if they are required to.

“At ports and airports there will be two control points. Whoever comes from countries or zones not included on the list of risk zones will have access to a quick control with the QR code obtained from SpTH. And once the EU Digital Covid-19 certificate goes into effect, whoever has this document will also have access to this quick control,” says the government statement.

EU river cruises restart

Brussels 28.05.2021 Five more river cruise lines have announced summer 2021 restart dates, as the European Union moves toward approving international travel for vaccinated passengers.

Scenic and Emerald Cruises, river lines owned by Australia’s Scenic Group, will restart their Europe season with sailings on Portugal’s Douro River beginning in late July. Uniworld will be restarting in Italy and France. And AmaWaterways will restart in Portugal on July 3, with more sailings throughout Europe later in the month.

Meanwhile CroisiEurope announced restart dates for river and canal cruises on a number of European rivers, starting with Portugal’s Douro River on June 7, and followed by the Gironde and the Seine on June 30, in France.

Scenic and Emerald Cruises, river lines owned by Australia’s Scenic Group, will restart their Europe season with sailings on Portugal’s Douro River beginning in late July. Uniworld will be restarting in Italy and France. And AmaWaterways will restart in Portugal on July 3, with more sailings throughout Europe later in the month.

Meanwhile CroisiEurope announced restart dates for river and canal cruises on a number of European rivers, starting with Portugal’s Douro River on June 7, and followed by the Gironde and the Seine on June 30, in France.

On Scenic and Emerald, all guests must be fully vaccinated and the cruises are open only to U.S .and UK residents, the company said. The lines are popular with residents of Australia and Canada as well, but currently those countries are restricting international travel.

Scenic Azure will begin operating 11-day sailings on the Douro on July 30. Emerald Radiance will restart its eight-day itineraries on the river on July 31. Both ships will sail from Porto, Portugal, through November.

Scenic Group said its ship would operate under protocols established by a dedicated Health & Safety Steering Committee, and that the company had also been working with the Cruise Lines International Association and Portuguese authorities on health guidelines.

Cruise industry on crossroads

Brussels 28.05.2021 Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) administration is standing firm over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to regulate the cruise industry in the aftermath of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, reiterating that the federal agency “has no legal authority to set any sort of requirements to cruise” and warning cruise ships against requiring vaccine passports. DeSantis Administration Fires Warning Shot over Requiring Vaccine Passports in the Cruise Industry.

The DeSantis administration responded to the news of the CDC clearing a Celebrity Cruises ship to set sail out of Port Everglades, making it the “first cruise ship to sail from US waters in more than a year.” The CDC granted the ship permission to do so after it met certain health standard requirements.

The Celebrity Edge poised to be the first major cruise ship to sail from the United States in over a year as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease in the U.S.

The ship, part of the Celebrity Cruises line owned by Royal Caribbean Group, has been cleared to sail from Fort Lauderdale with paying passengers in June 2021.

“After months of working with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government officials, our Healthy Sail Panel and industry partners, we can again offer cruise lovers the chance to enjoy the wonders of cruising. We are truly thankful to reach this special milestone,” Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO, said in a press statement.

Cruise travelers who sail from the U.S. on fully vaccinated ships will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors or maintain social distancing, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Prevention said.

In updated guidance to the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order, the agency put in a new section, essentially giving more discretion to cruise lines that sail with a COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

In the amended section, the agency said that ships that agree to have at least 95 percent of crew and 95 percent of passengers vaccinated can tell both that they do not have to wear a mask or maintain physical distance in any areas.

EU vacation with compagnon animal

An EU national can freely travel with his cat, dog or ferret if it has a European pet passport. This passport is available from any authorised veterinarian and must contain details of a valid anti-rabies vaccination.

Owners of a dog, cat or ferret which is less than 3 months old (and not vaccinated against rabies), should check the national rules before the departure.

The EU pet passport is established only for dogs, cats and ferrets. Owners of the other pets, such as rabbits or canaries, you should check relevant national rules on taking animals in/out of the country.

Ownr of compagnion animals indening to travel to Finland, Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom, it must be treated against the tapeworm Echinococcus as follows:

The treatment shall be administered by a veterinarian within a period of not more than 120 hours and not less than 24 hours before the time of scheduled entry into Finland, Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom;
the treatment shall be certified by the administering veterinarian in the relevant section of the passport.
Identification

The animal-traveller will require an electronic microchip or a readable tattoo that has been applied before 3 July 2011 with the same code as the one documented in the passport.