Since then, countries in the region have reimposed restrictions to quell the resurgence of cases, with stricter rules specifically for the unvaccinated. In Austria, the first European country to enter a major lockdown in response to the latest wave, tens of thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday to mass protest. Germany this week announced tough restrictions that would prevent unvaccinated people from entering bars, restaurants and other public spaces. And France has required inbound travelers from outside the European Union to present a negative coronavirus test.
UK officials said on Sunday they were still assessing the potential impact of the new variant. But increasing the use of vaccines and boosters would be the “safest defense,” Dominic Raab, British Deputy Prime Minister, told the BBC.
“Our message is: Enjoy Christmas this year. Deploying the vaccine means we are able to do it, ”said Raab.
Britain reported an average of 44,385 daily cases last week, an 11% increase from two weeks ago. Deaths, on the other hand, fell by 20% during this period.
Britain imposed new restrictions last week to fight Omicron, including requiring all international travelers to take a coronavirus test within 48 hours of departure and an additional test within two days of arrival . The government has also made it compulsory to wear masks in indoor spaces such as public transport and shopping malls.