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Home » World » Covid-19: European Nations Using Carrot or Stick Policy to Ramp Up Vaccination

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Covid-19: European Nations Using Carrot or Stick Policy to Ramp Up Vaccination

Europe is scrambling to ramp up its vaccination amid the presence of the highly contagious Delta variant is causing a surge in many countries. The WHO has confirmed the presence of the variant in more than 100 countries and expressed fear that it could become the dominant lineage of the Covid-19 in the future.

A woman receives a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in Nicosia, Cyprus, Feb. 24, 2021. Cyprus' COVID-19 vaccination campaign is picking up speed as larger vaccine shipments were due to be delivered on Wednesday under the European Union's joint vaccine procurement scheme, a Health Ministry official said. (Xinhua Photo)

New Delhi:  European nations are using a host of tactics to persuade the hesitant to get inoculated in a bid to ramp up the vaccination drive. The countries are offering incentives for getting vaccinated and penalties for refusing to do so.

Greece on Friday announced new restrictions for the unvaccinated. From now on, people will need to submit a proof of vaccination or recent recovery from Covid-19 to indoor restaurants, cafes, bars and movie theatres.

Children can enter these places after providing a negative test.

However, it is very hard to implement these measures as sidewalk cafes and restaurants and open-air movie theaters which attract the maximum crowd in Athens are accessible to all.

“At the moment it’s the middle of summer, people prefer being outside, under the trees, and people don’t want to sit indoors,” said Sprios Bairaktaris, owner of a popular Greek taverna in the tourist district of Athens that has both indoor and outdoor areas.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (R) gets an injection of the COVID-19 vaccine at Attikon University Hospital in Athens, Greece, Dec. 27, 2020. (Xinhua Photo)

He was implementing the government rules however when it came to allowing people to sit inside that cafe.

Last month, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin had also introduced these measured which will come to an end on July 19. Restaurant owners, who were already reeling under the losses from the pandemic were further impacted by this move.

Other European countries have also announced measures of their own regarding mandatory vaccination for specific jobs.

Italy made vaccination mandatory for health care workers and pharmacists back in April while France and Greece announced mandatory vaccines this week for health care workers and care home staff, with France extending the requirement to those caring for an elderly or sick person at home.

France also announced mandatory COVID-19 passes for access to restaurants, bars, shopping malls and many tourist spots, as well as trains and planes, as of July 21. The passes are available to anyone fully vaccinated, recently recovered, or who has a recent negative test.

Alicja Jakubowska, head nurse of the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of the Interior (MSWiA), receives coronavirus vaccination in Warsaw, Poland, Dec. 27, 2020. (Xinhua Photo)

These moves have also attracted protests from thousands protesting Wednesday in Greek and French cities.wth more such rallies planned for Saturday in France.

Britain is also making vaccinations mandatory this fall for nursing home workers and the government has been considering extending that to National Health Service employees. Parliament approved the measure despite strong opposition from some lawmakers and warnings from nursing homes that it could worsen staff shortages.

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However, for some people, the policy does seem to work.

“On Tuesday, we realized that everything will be closed for us if we are not vaccinated so we started to look for an appointment,” said 15-year-old Parisian Chloe Dril.

He added, “We noticed that for train tickets it was much more complicated if we are not vaccinated, if we want to go abroad it will be more complicated, so it really pushed us to get vaccinated.”

Some businessmen regretted the fact that they had top check their customer before allowing them in.

“On the other hand, forcing bar owners to play the part of border police officers asking for their clients’ papers is also an issue. From a legal standpoint, it bothers me,” said Clément Léon, owner of Le Picoti bar in Paris.

With inputs from PTI

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