‘Hold out a little longer’ asks Merkel as vaccination programme begins to have an effect

Germany

The country is weighing the possibility of easing its lockdown given the decline in the number of cases and the reduced pressure on hospitals. It will depend on the vaccination rate and the degree of circulation of the new virus variants.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that despite Germany going through its most difficult time in the fight against the virus, she can see a light at the end of the tunnel:

“I said at the beginning of the winter that this would be the hardest time for us, and that’s how it turned out. And still, we can say: the crest of the second wave has been passed. We now have to hold out a little longer, and then vaccinations will increasingly be introduced, and the burden on hospitals will soon be reduced because the elderly will no longer become so ill. So I can see a light shining at the end of the tunnel, but it’s an incredibly difficult time.”

France

Authorities in Paris do not see an immediate easing of the restrictions, but neither have they chosen to impose a new lockdown.

Prime minister Jean Castex stated everyone wanting a vaccination will get one by the end of the summer. But President Emmanuel Macron has said Chinese jabs will not be used for the moment.

“This is a matter of fact. What it means is that on the mid to long run it is almost sure that if this vaccine is not appropriate it will facilitate the emergence of new variants, it will absolutely not fix the situation of these countries.”

United Kingdom

The UK is one step ahead of EU member states in its vaccination plan, is planning to harden the 10-day quarantine for arrivals into the country. Soon certain travellers could be confined in a hotel instead of home, as confirnmed by the Health Secretary Matt Hancock:

“The most important thing, though, is right now, it is against the law to travel unless you’ve got a good reason. And crucially, everybody who arrives in the UK has to isolate for 10 days.”

Spain

Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines will be used to immunise people over 80. The aim is to vaccinate 80 percent of Spanish people over 80 years-old by the end of March. A final decision on the use of the other vaccine already authorised by the EU, the Anglo-Swedish Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is still to be announced by the Spanish authorities.

Watch Euronews’s full report in the player above.

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