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Europe Covid: Ski chaos as France announces passports for slopes


Britons hoping to travel to France for a skiing holiday this winter have been thrown into disarray after being told they will need a passport for a vaccination.

Everyone over the age of 12 will have to provide proof that they have been vaccinated twice to reach the slopes and that the last jab was no more than seven months ago, according to plans announced by Health Minister Olivier Veran on Thursday.

This poses several problems for British travelers – children under 16 cannot get a passport for vaccination and those aged 12-15 are only eligible for a single shot.

In addition, the boosters are currently only offered to Brits over the age of 40, meaning people in their mid to late 30s who were given their second dose in June are at risk of losing because their passports will expire in January.

The new rules, which began from December 4, are part of a package designed to stem the winter wave of Covid in France that includes making boosters available to all people over 18 and shortening the time between the second dose and the booster to five months.

Infections and deaths are rising across Europe, but there are encouraging signs that epidemics in hard-hit Austria and the Netherlands are waning – albeit only after the former went into full lockdown and the latter imposed a nightly curfew.

France will require everyone over the age of 12 to produce a vaccination passport in order to access the ski slopes from December 4

The new rules will cause chaos for Brits, with those under 16 unable to get a Covid passport, 12 and 15-year-olds only eligible for one hit, and those in their mid to late 30s unable to get reinforcements.

The new rules will cause chaos for Brits, with those under 16 unable to get a Covid passport, 12 and 15-year-olds only eligible for one hit, and those in their mid to late 30s unable to get reinforcements.

Austria’s daily case numbers show infections largely stabilized in the week between November 18 and 25, starting after the country shut down its unvaccinated citizens but before it was completely shut down.

The data shows a similar effect felt in the Netherlands over the same time period, coming roughly a week after the introduction of a nighttime curfew and the reinstatement of mandatory face masks on public transport and some indoor locations.

European leaders are scrambling to reimpose restrictions in an effort to reduce cases of the virus, but measures between countries have varied widely.

Austria has been among the most ruthless, closing all non-essential stores and making vaccinations mandatory for everyone who is eligible to get one.

Other countries, such as France, Italy and Germany, have cracked down on non-vaccinators — and tightened rules around their Covid passports to limit access to public places for those who have been stabbed.

France said on Thursday it would make COVID-19 booster vaccines available to all adults, tighten rules on the wearing of face masks and step up health permit checks as it seeks to curb a fifth wave of infections that threatens to undermine its economic recovery.

The number of infections is doubling every 11 days in France, but officials have said there is no need to follow Austria’s example in reimposing the lockdown.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said anyone aged 18 or over would be eligible for booster shots and that the period between full vaccinations and the booster punches would be shortened to five months from six.

In positive news, cases appear to be stabilizing in Austria and the Netherlands after both countries imposed restrictions

Covid cases hit an all-time high in many countries in Europe, as leaders rush to reimpose lockdowns and target the unvaccinated with the harshest measures

Covid cases hit an all-time high in many countries in Europe, as leaders rush to reimpose lockdowns and target the unvaccinated with the harshest measures

Brussels is considering stricter travel measures as the continent suffers from the winter wave of Covid that has caused a high death toll from the virus.

Brussels is considering stricter travel measures as the continent suffers from the winter wave of Covid that has caused a high death toll from the virus.

“Our fate is still in our hands,” Ferran told a news conference, urging people to respect the rules of social distancing.

Support shots are currently only available for those over 65 and for those with underlying health problems.

France currently has about 25 million doses, Veran said, enough to speed up the booster campaign. Earlier, the French Health Supervisory Authority (HAS) supported the expansion of the campaign.

France reported more than 30,000 new infections for a second day in a row on Wednesday, a sequence unseen since late April.

The seven-day moving average of daily new cases – which equalizes whistleblowing – is at a three-month high at 21,761 and has nearly quadrupled in one month.

Ferran said he will ask the HAS and Medical Ethics Committee to examine whether children between the ages of 5 and 11 should be vaccinated. No program for these children will begin before 2022.

Earlier, the European Union’s drug regulator approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 as Europe battles a rise in infections.

Ferrand said the supporting shots would become a requirement for a valid health permit, which is necessary in France to enter restaurants, cafes, cinemas and museums, among other public places. The scroll shows evidence of a full vaccination or a negative COVID test.

After Ferran’s announcement, vaccination reservations soared, causing medical appointments app Doctolib to be frozen. At 1615 GMT, the app gave a waiting time of more than 30 minutes to book a vaccination.

European leaders are counting on vaccinations to fight the new wave of Covid, shortening the time needed to get booster vaccines and limiting non-sulfide activities.

European leaders are counting on vaccinations to fight the new wave of Covid, shortening the time needed to get booster vaccines and limiting non-sulfide activities.

Covid-19 deaths in Europe reached 1.5 million on Thursday amid warnings from the World Health Organization that another 700,000 people will die before the end of winter.

Covid-19 deaths in Europe reached 1.5 million on Thursday amid warnings from the World Health Organization that another 700,000 people will die before the end of winter.



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