Implement Covid restrictions around Christmas, New Year's: ECDC
If people visit, shop, and travel together around Christmas and New Year's, this could lead to a new wave of coronavirus infections. The European health services warned about this. It called on member countries, including the Netherlands, to quickly introduce restrictions. They must also ensure that all people aged 40 and older can receive booster shots as soon as possible.
The fact that the Christmas period can become the spark for a new outbreak is not only due to the Delta variant and the already high number of infections. The ECDC also sees that people no longer feel like sticking to new restrictions - the organization expects "measure fatigue." This could result in people taking more risks, "especially in private gatherings around the holidays. This will be the second holiday season during this pandemic, and people may want to compensate for last winter."
Coronavirus restrictions are a "direct way to control the spread" of the virus, according to the ECDC. Booster shots "extend control of the spread after the direct impact of the measures."
The ECDC mentioned wearing face masks, working from home, and limiting the number of travelers on public transport as examples of measures. In addition, countries can set a limit on the number of people who can participate in "social and public events at year-end celebrations." The ECDC expects these rules to continue to apply for a long time after the turn of the year.
All restrictions should result in people having less contact with others so that there are fewer moments when they can become infected. According to the ECDC, that is "critical to reducing the risk of an unprecedented high Covid-19 burden in the coming months."
Reporting by ANP