Europe is slowly preparing for the Christmas holidays, but somehow it is also beginning to realize that after family reunions, the infection rate may rise again. For this reason, the European Commission wants member states to continue with the restrictions throughout the winter, until there is a vaccine.
“If we are not careful, if we do not practice self-control and discipline, if we relax too quickly and if we do not take advantage of this relatively more stable period to prepare, we will have more cases, more deaths and more confinements. We already knew this in July and so on. we know now, but this time we have the opportunity to do things differently “, explained Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.
Actions the Commission wants to take this winter include:
- A European level contact tracking system.
- National mechanisms to distribute vaccines.
- Strengthening of health personnel.
However, we are talking about recommendations, as the European Union does not have authority on health-related issues, so the Commission relies on national governments so that they adopt effective strategies when it comes to managing healthcare.
However, Covid coordination is not an area in which Europe is having much success. Germany, France and Italy want all ski resorts on the continent to be closed. Although Spain and Austria, however, do not agree, claiming that a lot of income would be lost. A Hungarian socialist MEP defends that, if they remain closed, they receive financial compensation.
“The Covid has affected the lives of millions of workers in recent months. We know that human life comes first, and that the pandemic situation does not allow ski resorts to open during the winter season, so the Governments nationals and the EU should open their pockets to help, “said István Ujhelyi MEP.
The other hot topic is vaccinations. Brussels says the first doses won’t be available until early January, but the UK is set to put out the first doses next week, a step the Commission considers too quick.