German and French leaders call for vigilance against the variant of the coronavirus – .

German and French leaders call for vigilance against the variant of the coronavirus – .

BERLIN (AP) – German and French leaders called for vigilance on Friday to prevent the spread of a variant of the coronavirus that this week prompted Britain to delay the planned easing of pandemic restrictions in England.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said that while Germany currently has a very low number of new COVID-19 infections, the “aggressive” delta variant could lead to an increase in new cases.

“We cannot pretend the crown is over,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin. “Even though there is a feeling on such a hot summer evening that it’s all over, you can see from the Lisbon example that things can change quickly.

Portuguese authorities on Thursday banned travel inside or outside the capital region over the coming weekends in response to a spike in cases of the delta variant. Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed back the date for lifting restrictions on social contact by four weeks as the government reported thousands of newly confirmed cases, mostly with the delta variant.

Merkel met ahead of a working dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron, the first time she has hosted a foreign leader in Germany since last year.

Macron said it was important to be vigilant and that the European Union would discuss at an upcoming summit how to better harmonize travel restrictions during the pandemic – something the bloc of 27 countries has had to say. hard to do more than a year after the start of the epidemic.

EU countries have administered at least one dose of the vaccine to around half of their populations, while more than a third have received both injections. Britain, which left the block last year, has a higher vaccination rate.


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