Covid-19: Latest Updates from across Europe

Jan 18, 2022: Read on for a quick round-up of the COVID-19 situation from across Europe as per reports from The Guardian.

Italy

228,179 corona virus cases were reported in Italy on Tuesday. That compares to 83,403 cases a day earlier, according to the Ministry of Health. There were 434 Covid-19 related deaths, about 50 percent more than the 287 logged on Monday.

So far, 141,825 covid-related deaths have been reported in Italy since the outbreak of the pandemic, the second highest in Europe after the UK and the ninth highest in the world. 9.02 million cases have been reported in the country so far.

France

The country has registered 464,769 new Covid-19 infections over the last 24 hours, official data showed on Tuesday, the highest ever-recorded tally since the start of the pandemic.

UK

According to a report by Reuters, rapid Covid tests in Britain will no longer be free for people in the UK from the end of June, according to plans reportedly drawn up by health officials.

One source said the target could move again if the virus throws up another “curveball” such as a worrying new variant. This was set out as an eventual aim by the government’s winter Covid plan, which said at some stage the government’s provision of free lateral flows would end and “individuals and businesses would bear the cost”.

There were 922 Covid deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to 7 January, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. This was a rise of 58% from the previous week.

Meanwhile, restrictions brought in before Christmas to stem the Omicron surge across Scotland are to be lifted from next Monday, Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon said.

Nightclubs will reopen, there will be an end to social distancing and to a three-household limit indoors, Sturgeon said, adding that the country had “turned the corner on the Omicron wave”.

France

France’s education minister is facing calls to resign after it emerged he had announced a strict Covid-testing protocol for schools shortly before the start of the January school term while he was on holiday in Ibiza.

As French teachers and parents struggled to prepare children’s return to school amid France’s fifth wave of Covid, Jean-Michel Blanquer had flown to the Spanish island known for its beautiful beaches and party culture for a four-day holiday over the new year, the investigative website medipart reported.

The revelation that Blanquer was on holiday in Ibiza at one of the toughest moments for schools and parents has created a public relations disaster for the government.

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