COVID Cases Hit Record Highs in Germany, Netherlands

Meanwhile, Austria plans a lockdown for the unvaccinated
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2021 10:15 AM CST
Austria Plans Lockdown for the Unvaccinated
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a debate about the measures to battle the coronavirus and COVID-19 at the Bundestag in Berlin on Thursday.   (Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Winter is approaching in Europe—and with it, a return to tighter COVID restrictions, at least for the unvaccinated. Reuters reports that, with strained ICUs and infections at a record high, Austria is planning a lockdown for the unvaccinated. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said Thursday that the country is just days away from having 30% of ICU beds occupied by COVID patients, which will trigger the lockdown under a government plan introduced in September. He said that under the lockdown, unvaccinated people will be banned from leaving their homes for nonessential purposes, "exactly what we all had to suffer through in 2020." More:

  • Germany. In Germany, where infections have also reached a record high, unvaccinated people will be banned from restaurant, bars, and other venues as of Monday, CNN reports. New cases rose above 50,000, setting a record for the fourth day in a row, and experts warn that the country's death toll could double to more than 200,000 if nothing is done, reports CNBC.

  • Romania and Bulgaria. Romania and Bulgaria have both the EU's lowest vaccination rates and the highest COVID death rates, and authorities say they're struggling to deal with misinformation and superstitions around vaccines, reports the Guardian. In Bulgaria, where the vaccination rate is just 22.8%, the daily death rate is 22.8 per million, more than seven times the EU average of 3.1.
  • Israel. A nationwide drill to prepare for the possibility of a more lethal COVID variant began in Israel on Thursday, Bloomberg reports. The "Omega Drill," which will be in the format of a war game, will test systems regarding quarantine enforcement and lockdown policies.
  • The Netherlands. Health experts in the Netherlands have recommended bringing in what would be Western Europe's first partial nationwide lockdown since the summer, with entertainment venues closed but schools open, reports RTE. A record high of 16,364 new cases reported Thursday was more than 3,000 cases higher than the previous record in December 2020. Last weekend, the Dutch government reintroduced mask mandates in stores and other public places, the AP reports.
(More COVID-19 stories.)

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