Norway and Poland Tighten Covid Restrictions

Restrictions are tightening across Europe due to a fourth wave of the Covid virus. Norway and Poland are the latest countries to introduce new restrictions. 

Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said that new restrictions will be coming to the country this week, likely on Tuesday or Wednesday. 

The rules are coming ahead of the holiday season and are meant to curb rising infection rates as well as spreading fears of the newest strain of the virus, Omicron. 

At the moment, in Poland there are restrictions that limit the number of people who can be in public venues and spaces, including in restaurants, bars, and shops. It is also still mandatory to wear masks in enclosed spaces. In terms of travel, there are some curbs on it, but mostly contained to the Omicron variant, and barring only seven African nations. 

Morawiecki said that the new restrictions may introduce some sort of vaccine mandate and that compulsory shots are being discussed and considered. He also said that stronger restrictions on those who are still unvaccinated. 

Poland reported 13,250 new cases on Monday as well as 25 deaths related to Covid. The country so far has a 54 percent vaccination rate. This is much lower than the average in the European Union, at 66.4 percent. 

Norway is introducing new restrictions as well after a recent increase in infections. Norway’s health minister Ingvild Kjerkol said that restrictions will be brought in on Tuesday, due to the situation brought forth by the Delta variant, as well as the Omicron variant. What the measures are have not yet been detailed. 

Austria and Germany also have introduced new restrictions lately, including locking down the unvaccinated and introducing vaccine mandates for early 2022. 

But in Slovenia, a vaccine mandate has been struck down as unconstitutional by the country’s highest court. The government wanted to make vaccines compulsory starting Oct. 1, but it was blocked. 

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