WHO recommends lifting restrictions on international travel
World Health Organization recommended the global community to lift or ease restrictions on international travel. The WHO Emergency Committee for COVID-19 declared that such measures were ineffective.
The organization noted that it is necessary to “repeal or ease the bans on international transport, as they do not bring benefits and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress experienced by countries.”
“The failure of travel bans imposed following the discovery of the omicron variant to limit its international spread speaks to the ineffectiveness of such measures,” the organization said, noting that requirements for passengers to wear masks, provide coronavirus testing data or vaccination certificates “should be risk-based” and not create a “financial burden” for travelers.
In addition, the WHO believes that one should not “require evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 for international travel as the only means or condition” to enter the country, as access to vaccines in the world remains limited and their distribution is unequal.
The WHO has also called for countries to recognize “in the context of international travel” all vaccines approved for emergency use.
The UK has lifted the mandatory wearing of masks and gloves
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on the abolition of all coronavirus restrictions imposed due to the Omicron strain.
“The introduced rules will cease to apply from next week,” Boris Johnson said during a speech in the House of Commons of the British Parliament.
The country’s authorities decided to cancel the mandatory wearing of masks in public transport and shops, the transition to remote work, as well as the use of “vaccine passports”. British authorities will soon treat COVID-19 “like a common cold,” Johnson said.
Note that earlier Johnson himself was caught violating covid restrictions. The prime minister threw a party on Christmas when the rest of the Brits needed to be quarantined.
There are now 19,450 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in UK hospitals, down 2% from a week earlier. At the same time, more than 34,000 people were hospitalized at the peak of the second wave of coronavirus a year ago. Over the entire period of the pandemic in the UK, 152,513 people have died from COVID-19.
Czech Republic abolishes compulsory vaccination
Czech government decidedthat coronavirus vaccinations for the elderly and some professions will no longer be mandatory.
The mandatory vaccination order prepared by the Babiš government was supposed to come into force in March 2022, but in December the government was replaced by a new five-party government led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala. “We have agreed that COVID-19 vaccination will not be mandatory,” Fiala said.
It was assumed that vaccination would be mandatory for people aged 60 and over, as well as for medical personnel, police officers, firefighters, medical students and some other categories of citizens.
According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, almost 63% of Czech citizens are now considered fully vaccinated. This is below the EU average.
Israeli police clash with Orthodox protesters against restrictions
in the south of Israel happened clashes between police and ultra-Orthodox opposing measures to combat coronavirus. At least 13 policemen were injured in them, 15 members of the ultra-orthodox Haredim movement were detained.
The clashes came after police tried to shut down an Orthodox religious education center. Hundreds of Jews tried to overcome the police cordon, they smashed police cars, and pointedly coughed at the security forces and chanted: “Nazis!”.
A movement is also gaining momentum in the country, whose adherents refuse to be vaccinated. According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, 138 Israelis have refused to take the drug, produced by Pfizer, from the moment the Pfizer drug arrived in Israel until today.
In Germany, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest anti-COVID measures
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets different cities in Germany to protest against the country’s measures to combat coronavirus. People oppose mandatory vaccination, which the authorities plan to introduce in the near future.
According to police estimates, more than 70,000 people took part in various rallies across the country. Most of the participants did not wear masks and did not maintain social distance.
The protests were accompanied by clashes between demonstrators and the police, who dispersed several demonstrations due to violations of quarantine rules. According to the police, about 21,000 people took to the streets in Thuringia alone, and about 14,000 people took part in the rallies in Bavaria. However, most of the demonstrations were peaceful.
Massive protests against anti-coronavirus restrictions took place in Belgium
Early January in Belgium there were protests against the restrictive measures taken in connection with the pandemic. The action was already the fourth, it was held under the motto “Together for Freedom”. Its participants oppose mandatory vaccination of medical staff, as well as sanitary passes. Like the previous ones, the protests were accompanied by arrests and detentions.
About 5,000 people took part in the protest, police said. Organizers say about 20 thousand participants. The media estimated the number of protesters at 10,000. At least 30 people were detained, 11 were arrested before the start of the events.
Mass protests in France
Protests against restrictive measures passed also in several cities in France.
Three anti-vaccination protests took place in Paris at once. The largest was organized by the leader of the Patriots party and an ardent opponent of vaccination, Florian Filippo. The protesters went to the building of the Ministry of Health, where they held a rally. People protested against the introduction of “vaccine passports” in the country and against the vaccination campaign in general. The action in Paris was peaceful.
Other similar demonstrations in the French capital were overshadowed by riots. So, in the 13th district, the police were forced to intervene and use tear gas.
Anti-vaccination events were also held in Marseille, Montpellier and Caen. The Manche prefecture announced a ban on demonstrations on Mont Saint-Michel, as a result, opponents of vaccination did not come out to protest.