Vaccine mandates around the world

PARIS, Jan 31 (AFP) -A growing number of countries are imposing vaccine passes, or insisting people in certain jobs be vaccinated against Covid-19. But few are mandating their whole populations to be jabbed. Here is a snapshot: – Compulsory jabs – Ecuador became the first country in the world to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory in December, including for children over five. Two authoritarian states in Central Asia — Tajikistan and Turkmenistan — had already made them obligatory for adults over 18 years old in July.

Indonesians have also been obliged, in theory, to get a shot since last February, but in practice less than half had done so by the beginning of 2022. In the Pacific, the federated states of Micronesia also announced in July that over 18s would have to get shots. Austria will be the first European Union country to impose vaccination on all over 14s on Friday, with those breaching the rules facing a 600-euro ($670) fine. The German Bundestag is debating a draft law on compulsory vaccinations pushed by the new Social Democrat Chancellor Olaf Scholz. – Elderly targeted – Several European countries concentrate on the elderly, who are more likely to get severely ill from the virus. In Italy, all over 50s must be vaccinated from February 15. And in Greece, over 60s have had to be jabbed since the beginning of the year.

The Czech Republic was to do the same but its new government dropped the idea. – Frontline workers – People in certain jobs have become increasingly subject to vaccine requirements. In France, care and healthcare workers along with firefighters, ambulance drivers and home helps, need jabs. In England, Greece and Italy health workers and staff in retirement homes are or will soon be covered, while Rome also extends the requirement to those working in schools and for the police. In Germany, medical personnel must prove they are fully vaccinated by March 15. Some countries have gone further, including Hungary where companies can insist their employees be jabbed. The Czech Republic has made injections obligatory for health workers, the police, firefighters and soldiers but scrapped plans to make them compulsory for over 60s. In Panama, President Laurentino Cortizo this month decreed a vaccine mandate for all civil servants.

And in the United States, President Joe Biden was thwarted by the Supreme Court in January in his bid to impose jabs on millions of employees of large businesses. – Vaccine passes – More and more countries are demanding that people show vaccination passes or certificates to travel or enter enclosed public places. A pass is required to enter any private or government building in Saudi Arabia, or to use public transport or leave the country. In Morocco, they are needed to enter enclosed spaces like hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops and sports facilities and public offices and to leave the country, and in Tunisia for access to schools, cafes, banks and administrative offices. In Kenya, a pass is needed for public transport and public spaces.

In Italy, a vaccine pass has been necessary since January to use transport, hotels, restaurant terraces, fairs and congresses, as well as swimming pools and gyms. In France, a vaccine pass will soon be required, with a full course of vaccination needed to enjoy inter-city train travel, attend cultural events or eat out.

A recent test or proof of recovery will no longer be valid. Some countries, like New Zealand or Australia, reserve entry to their territory to vaccinated people, as tennis world number one Novak Djokovic found to his cost. His mood will not have been helped by France saying its new vaccine pass “applies to everyone including elite sportspeople coming from abroad until further notice”.

— 04- New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern tests negative for COVID-19 Wellington [New Zealand], January 31 (ANI/Sputnik): Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has tested negative for COVID-19 after getting exposed to the coronavirus on a flight to Auckland, her spokesperson said. “The Prime Minister has returned a negative Covid-19 test. In line with Ministry of Health guidance she is required to continue isolating until the end of Tuesday, February 1, or as otherwise advised by Public Health,” the spokesperson said as quoted by The New Zealand Herald on Monday.

Ardern had to isolate on Saturday after a flight attendant on her plane heading from Kerikeri to Auckland tested positive for the Omicron variant. According to The New Zealand Herald, the prime minister took a PCR test on Sunday morning. Her chief press secretary Andrew Campbell confirmed to the newspaper on Monday that he had also tested negative. Earlier this month, Ardern cancelled her own wedding as New Zealand was preparing to move to the red COVID-19 alert level amid the spread of Omicron. The prime minister had planned to get married to her partner Clarke Gayford this summer in Gisborne, according to The New Zealand Herald. The two have a daughter, Neve. (ANI/Sputnik)

By Auther