Europeans Face travel Issues as France and UK Overhaul Covid-19 Border Curbs

Last-minute travel problems were faced by the Europeans on Saturday (July 17). 

France and Britain have reformed Covid-19 border restrictions to counter surging infections that could bar life from taking its usual course.

The first case of Covid-19 at Tokyo Olympics Games Village was a reminder of the difficulty of reverting to pre-pandemic lifestyles. This happened less than a week before the event.

Britain is also under the hammer after it decided to exclude France from its loser entry policies. According to the government, vaccine-returning British citizens will still have to remain in quarantine for a period of 10 days. This is not required in other “amber” countries. The returning citizens also need to know how to change your name while living abroad if their names clash in multiple countries and they want to stay in Britain. 

According to Doctor Maud Lemoine, “I’m a doctor, so I understand the health issues very well, but this doesn’t make any sense”. The doctor lives in London and visits France. 

“It’s not that we think the Earth is flat, but we don’t know the long-term effects of these vaccines cobbled together in a hurry,” words by Rita, 39, – a care assistant. 

Greek officials placed curfews on the party island of Mykonos and Spain’s authorities in Barcelona and other areas in northeastern Catalonia.

The European Union is facing a difficult time. According to the European Union’s disease prevention agency, infections could increase fivefold in Europe by August 1.

However, the continent had other reasons to rejoice, as the United States’ vaccination rate surpassed that of the continent for the first time.

After a slow start regarding the vaccination, about 55.5 % of people have had their first dose. This compares with 55.4% across the Atlantic.

Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner, stated that the achievement confirmed the EU’s strategy of “remaining Open and exporting half our production to 100+ nations”, praising the bloc’s solidarity compared to other vaccine manufacturers.

Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, stated that his country had touched 50 million doses. He also promised that half the population would be fully vaccinated by next week.

In Britain, where most adults have had two jabs in the recent past, the government is relaxing most citizens’ restrictions.

Quarantine is scheduled to be lifted on Monday for all vaccinated Britons who have returned from countries on the “amber” list. 

But the government decided in the final moment to keep the status quo in France owing to the “persistent existence” of the Beta variant. It was first detected in South Africa.

The rule is currently only applicable to England. Still, the governments of Scotland and Wales indicated that they would likely impose the same laws. 

The rules for mask-wearing being dropped are part of the looser regime in England. This comes after Britain registered more than 50,000 cases last Friday. According to the government, the rate could rise by 50% in the upcoming weeks.

But the officials are hopeful that the high vaccination rate would prevent an increase in severe diseases and deaths.

Sajid Javid (Health Secretary) was one of those who tested positive. He announced on Saturday that he had contracted this disease and was being treated.

“I’m grateful that I’ve had two jabs of the vaccine. And so far, my symptoms are very mild,” Mr. Javid said via Twitter.

Over two-thirds of adults in Britain are fully vaccinated. Critics say that the government is taking a risk with an increasing number of cases.

“This is a threat not just to England but to the whole world – particularly low- and middle-income countries who have very limited access to vaccines,” last Friday, a group of international scientists issued a joint statement.

Saudi Arabia has also let people assemble for a second haj under controlled environments since the pandemic outbreak.

As it tries to replicate the past year’s success, which saw no outbreaks of the virus during the five-day ritual, the kingdom will allow only 60,000 fully vaccinated residents to participate.