Coronavirus

Elections 20-01-2022

UK PM Johnson drops COVID-19 restrictions

People in England will no longer be required to wear face masks anywhere or work from home from next week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, adding that scientists believed a wave of the Omicron coronavirus variant had peaked nationally.
19-01-2022

EMA encourages COVID-19 vaccine developers to target several variants

Marco Cavaleri, the head of vaccines strategy for the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has encouraged vaccine developers to “explore the feasibility” of making multivalent vaccines: those that cross-neutralise COVID-19 virus variants. 
18-01-2022

COVID vaccines safe during pregnancy: EU watchdog

Studies of pregnant women found the two most widely used COVID vaccines pose no risk to mothers or babies, the EU's drug regulator said on Tuesday (18 January).
18-01-2022

Suicide increasing amongst Europe’s youth, governments underprepared

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the mental health of Europeans and suicide amongst young people is rising, but in a number of countries, national health authorities have provided only patchy responses so far, according to the EURACTIV network reporting.
China 18-01-2022

China suspects COVID-19 might arrive in overseas mail

China is urging people to wear masks and gloves when opening mail, especially from abroad, after authorities suggested the first case of the Omicron coronavirus virus variant found in Beijing could have arrived via a package from Canada.
17-01-2022

Return of the flu: EU faces threat of prolonged ‘twindemic’

Influenza has returned to Europe at a faster-than-expected rate this winter after almost disappearing last year, raising concerns about a prolonged "twindemic" with COVID-19 amid some doubts about the effectiveness of flu vaccines.
Global Europe 17-01-2022

India working on Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine

India's Gennova Biopharmaceuticals is working on an Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine candidate that could be ready in a month or two, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Elections 17-01-2022

‘Wine time Fridays’ leave British PM with new hangover

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson witnessed weekly drinking sessions by his staff throughout the pandemic, according to a report Saturday (15 January) that stoked fresh calls from his own party for the embattled leader to quit.
Politics 17-01-2022

Belgrade to receive Djokovic as a hero after deportation from Australia

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic flew out of Australia on Sunday (16 January) after a court upheld the government's decision to cancel his visa, capping days of drama over the country's COVID-19 entry rules and his unvaccinated status.
Health 14-01-2022

EU excess deaths in November hit highest in a year – Eurostat

Around 27% more people died in the European Union than usual during November, the biggest increase in a year as a fresh wave of COVID-19 swept the region, official data showed on Friday (14 January).
Health 14-01-2022

Australia cancels tennis star Djokovic’s visa citing health risk

Australia cancelled Novak Djokovic's visa for a second time on Friday, saying the world tennis number one who has not been vaccinated for COVID-19 may pose a health risk, effectively ending his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title.
13-01-2022

Short shelf lives see poor nations decline millions of Covid jabs: UN

Lower-income countries refused to take around 100 million donated COVID-19 vaccine doses in December alone, chiefly due to their short shelf life, the United Nations said Thursday (13 January).
Elections 12-01-2022

UK PM Johnson apologises for attending lockdown party

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered his "heartfelt apologies" on Wednesday (12 January) for attending a "bring your own booze" gathering at his official residence during the country's first coronavirus lockdown as opponents said he must resign.
Elections 12-01-2022

Anti-vaxxers try to storm Bulgaria’s parliament

Anti-vaxxers rallied by the pro-Russian party ‘Vazrazhdane” tried to storm the Bulgarian parliament building on Wednesday (12 January) on the same day the country peaked with the highest-ever confirmed number of COVID-19 infections.
12-01-2022

EU drug regulator expresses doubt on need for fourth booster dose

The European Union's drug regulator on Tuesday (11 January) expressed doubts about the need for a fourth booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine and said there is currently no data to support this approach as it seeks more data on the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
11-01-2022

Half of Europe on track to catch Omicron, world economy at risk

More than half of people in Europe will likely catch Omicron by March, the World Health Organization said Tuesday (11 January), as the World Bank warned the contagious variant could hamper global economic recovery.
11-01-2022

With peak yet to come, Europe’s healthcare groans under Omicron’s swift spread

Europe's healthcare systems are being strained by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with large numbers of key staff ill or self-isolating and experts predicting the peak of infections is yet to come.
Elections 11-01-2022

Boris Johnson’s staff invited to ‘bring own booze’ during COVID lockdown party

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's staff were invited to a "bring your own booze" party in the garden of his Downing Street residence during the first nationwide coronavirus lockdown in 2020, according to a leaked email seen by broadcaster ITV.
11-01-2022

US reports 1.35 mln COVID-19 cases in a day, shattering global record

The United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total for any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing.
10-01-2022

With peak yet to come, Europe’s healthcare creaks under Omicron’s rapid spread

Europe's healthcare systems are being strained once again by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant over the holiday period, with large numbers of key staff ill or self-isolating and experts predicting the peak of infections is yet to come.
Politics 10-01-2022

Thousands protest COVID-19 rules in Belgium

Several thousand protesters marched in Brussels on Sunday (9 January) to oppose anti-coronavirus regulations, as European governments mull tighter rules in the face of the omicron wave.
07-01-2022

Five EU states take high-risk approach to school opening

Most EU countries plan to open schools next week after the Christmas break amid the rapid spread of variant Omicron across the bloc.
06-01-2022

Paid PCR tests cause political turmoil in Greece

The opposition and medical associations have mounted pressure on the Greek government to distribute free PCR tests for people, as Greeks seem to be the only EU citizens who still pay to get a molecular test.
05-01-2022

Macron’s remarks about ‘pissing off the unvaccinated’ further delay vaccine pass

Deputies in the French National Assembly once again suspended a session debating the draft bill for the so-called "vaccine pass" early on Wednesday (5 January). This time, it was triggered by President Emmanuel Macron's controversial comments about the unvaccinated