The markets are down and the political climate is sour. With this in mind, Joe Biden has been planning his 2020 campaign for months. He’s drawing on a strategy he once used to win elections that involved connecting with voters outside of traditional strongholds through debates, town halls, and smaller events like these speeches.
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On Monday, people waited in line outside a vaccination site in Edinburgh. Credit… Associated Press/Jane Barlow/Press Association
As the Omicron version continued its march throughout Europe, Sweden and Scotland imposed tougher limits on gatherings on Tuesday, and Swedish authorities warned that a spike of illnesses caused by the mutation would persist until mid-January.
Sweden’s public health office also revealed fresh projections that predicted the country might have 15,000 daily Omicron infections in mid-January, significantly more than past peaks, in the worst-case scenario, in which immunizations provide the least protection against infection.
Source: Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE). The daily average is generated using data from the previous seven days.
Sweden’s new laws include a 50-person limit for private meetings and the need that the majority of individuals work from home. Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced them, saying that the nation “must adjust to the new reality” after removing practically all restrictions during the summer.
“I recognize that many people are weary of hearing about it — I am, too — but we now have a new viral variety, which means we are in a new predicament,” she said.
As Omicron raises infection rates throughout Europe to their highest levels during the epidemic, several European countries are implementing additional social restrictions, mask bans, and travel restrictions only days before Christmas. In Europe, 51 cases per 100,000 persons are reported on a daily basis, the highest rate of any region.
On Tuesday, Denmark stated that it had documented 13,558 cases in the preceding 24 hours, a new daily high. Magnus Heunicke, the health minister, claimed on Twitter that Omicron was now the country’s main form “and continues to increase.”
Beginning the day after Christmas, Scotland declared attendance limits at big events for three weeks, and required pubs and restaurants to only serve seated clientele to prevent social contact. Professional sports events will be held without spectators under the new restrictions, which follow a similar statement by the Welsh government.
“Government has a duty to take tough choices to keep the nation as secure as possible, no matter how controversial they may be,” said Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister.
In Scotland, Omicron is currently the most common strain, exactly as it is in London, the core of the viral outbreak in the UK, where daily case counts are breaking records.
The European Union has set a 9-month expiration date for Covid travel passes.
Next year, the European Union will modify coronavirus vaccination certificates, requiring persons to have gotten booster doses or been completely vaccinated within the preceding nine months in order to travel freely throughout the EU.
It harmonizes the acceptance duration of E.U. digital Covid vaccination certificates, notably certificates with a 270-day validity term. This will become effective on February 1st. As of February 1st, member states will be required to recognize vaccination certificates for up to 270 days after the main immunization round has ended. They have no ability to extend or shorten this term. As a result, we have a straight harmonization. This will provide residents with a great deal of assurance, allowing them to know how long they may use their vaccination certificate after receiving the first dosage, or both the first and second dose, depending on the vaccine they choose for their main vaccination.
Next year, the European Union will modify coronavirus vaccination certificates, requiring persons to have gotten booster doses or been completely vaccinated within the preceding nine months in order to travel freely throughout the EU. CreditCredit… via Shutterstock/EPA/Giuseppe Lami
Also on Tuesday, the European Union said that from next year, only persons who have had booster injections or been completely vaccinated within the past nine months would be permitted to travel freely throughout the EU.
The new guidelines, which will take effect on February 1, seek to standardize travel within the EU by establishing an expiry date for Covid permits, which were introduced in July and display the holders’ immunization status. Individual nations may still decide whether to force travelers to quarantine or produce evidence of a negative test upon admission, even if the guidelines are in place. Domestic passes, which are required in certain countries for entrance into public areas such as pubs and restaurants, are unaffected by the change.
With escalating illnesses, including Omicron instances, and mounting indications of vaccination protection diminishing, E.U. authorities believe a booster shot is required, despite unequal booster shot distribution. More than 67 percent of the population of the bloc has been properly vaccinated against the coronavirus, with roughly 14 percent receiving a booster shot.
“It is now up to the member states to guarantee that boosters are quickly deployed to safeguard our health and ensure safe travel,” the bloc’s commissioner for justice, Didier Reynders, said in a statement.
— Elian Peltier and Shashank Bengali
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