July 28, 2021

Malta closes its borders to non-vaccinated people, a decision “contrary to European rules” according to France

The Delta variant is progressing everywhere and several countries are forced to strengthen or restore measures to stem the spread of Covid-19. The pandemic has killed at least four million people worldwide since the onset of the disease at the end of December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official sources, Saturday 10 July, in the middle of the day.

The United States is the most affected country, with more than 607,000 deaths and more than 33.8 million recorded cases. Brazil (nearly 533,000 dead), India (407,000), Mexico (234,000) and Peru (194,000) follow. These figures, which are based on daily reports from national health authorities, are globally two to three times higher, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • Malta: criticism of the decision to close the borders to the unvaccinated

Decisions on what measures to take to contain the epidemic are sometimes made in dispersed order within the European Union (EU). The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, regretted, on Sunday, the decision to Malta to close its borders to unvaccinated travelers.

“I am not condemning it, but the decision taken by Malta is contrary to European rules and I believe that we must stick to our framework and apply it fully. This framework is that of the European health pass ”, he declared at the “Grand Rendez-vous Europe 1-CNews-The echoes “. “I would prefer that they reconsider their decision. »

Read also Covid-19 around the world: from Portugal to Canada to Malta, restriction measures target tourists

Since 1is June, tourists from the European Union, the United States and a few other states were again welcome to Malta on condition that they test negative for Covid-19 when boarding a plane, or be fully vaccinated. A PCR test is no longer sufficient, announced the Maltese authorities, hoping to curb an upsurge in new cases of Covid-19.

“We did not always succeed in coordinating in Europe during this crisis but, for once, we have a health pass (…) which is the same everywhere in Europe ”, insisted Clément Beaune. “What Malta has done is recognize only the vaccine. This should alert us to the fact that if the situation deteriorates, the temptations to close, sometimes even contrary to the rules, multiply ”, he stressed.

  • Concerns over Euro football final

Fans celebrate England's qualification for the Euro Football final outside Wembley Stadium on July 7, 2021 in London.

At a time when Spain and the Netherlands tighten restrictions to fight Covid-19 and where France is preparing to take new measures, the progression of the Delta variant, extremely contagious, is raising fears of seeing the festivities linked to the final of the Euro further spread the disease.

Italy and England face each other on Sunday evening from 8 p.m. in London (9 p.m. in Paris) in front of 65,000 spectators, at Wembley stadium, where the gauge was raised to 75% on this already historic day for the England team, in the final of a competition for the first time since 1966.

Read also A football Euro unsuited to the pandemic

It is not so much the stadium itself that worries specialists as the gatherings, especially those indoors, that this final will generate, especially in the United Kingdom where almost all restrictions have been lifted and where 30,000 new cases dailies were recorded over the past week. “I urge people not to gather in large numbers”, hammered, in a statement, the deputy commissioner Laurence Taylor, of the Met Police.

“It is possible, even probable, that regions very little affected by the epidemic in the United Kingdom will be seeded by supporters returning from London”, warns Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Geneva. “The Delta variant arrives on the European continent, it seems difficult to counter it is so transmissible, the Euro does not help. “

  • Unequal access to the vaccine compromises the fight against the epidemic

Leaders of the world’s 20 richest countries have called for accelerating immunization around the globe, pledging to do more to support developing countries. While 70% of the population is vaccinated in some developed countries, this figure is less than 1% for low-income countries, said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

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L’European Union announced on Saturday that it had reached its goal of having enough doses to vaccinate 70% of its adult population in July.

At Bangladesh, in contrast, only 5.8 million of the 169 million inhabitants have been vaccinated, while the country is experiencing death records and has exceeded one million cases. The campaign is weighed down by the suspension of vaccine exports from India, which itself is experiencing shortages. The country, where a very severe containment has been in force since the start of the pandemic, announced on Saturday that it had made agreements for 17.5 million additional vaccines.

The World with AFP