Europe is once again the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Germany, the rate of infections is climbing rapidly - prompting concerns about the health system’s ability to cope. The worrying spike has prompted Chancellor Angela Merkel to urge all unvaccinated people to get the jab. Germany has a lower vaccination rate than most other western European countries.
The Netherlands is also seeing a surge in coronavirus cases. The government has responded by imposing a partial lockdown. For the next three weeks bars, restaurants and shops will have to close early. Authorities are also calling on people to limit their social contacts. The Netherlands is the first country in western Europe to take this step – one that has coincided with the start of the holiday season.
Austria could approve a lockdown for only people unvaccinated against COVID-19. The government will meet later today to discuss the measure.
Russia has reported a new daily record number of coronavirus deaths. Over 1,200 were registered.
Vietnam has welcomed its first international tourists in almost 20 months after it closed its borders to contain the coronavirus. Two charter flights brought more than 400 fully vaccinated visitors from Japan and South Korea.
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