Can the Covid still ruin our summer vacation? | Belgium

A week before the start of the summer holidays, just over a thousand patients are hospitalized with coronavirus. Should we fear another summer marred by health restrictions? Do the rules still apply in the most popular tourist destinations? response items.

Between June 14 and 20, there was an average of 75.6 daily hospital admissions for covid, 24% more than in the previous reference period. A total of 1,022 coronavirus-positive people are currently hospitalized, including 58 patients treated in intensive care, according to figures from the Sciensano Public Health Institute updated Tuesday morning.

Between June 11 and 17, an average of 2,756 new contaminations by Sars-CoV-2 were detected per day, 46% more than the previous week.

A stable situation throughout Europe

Should we worry about that, when the holidays start in a week? According to virologist Steven Van Gucht, these figures are not alarming. “The dynamic that is observed in our country can also be observed in other countries, where most of the same variants circulate”, underlines the scientist.

Steven Van Gucht therefore calls for individual responsibility. “If you belong to a risk group and take the subway, bus or plane, it is recommended to protect yourself with an FFP2 mask. But nowadays, it doesn’t matter if you take the metro in Brussels, Paris or Madrid. That is the big difference with the start of the pandemic, ”he compares.

There are no very high risk countries

Looking at the numbers, we can see that southern European countries are reporting more cases than others. “It is difficult to determine if the virus is really circulating more in these countries. Anyway, I don’t think it’s that important”, blows Steven Van Gucht. “Also, it is difficult to compare infection rates because the testing strategy is often very different depending on the country. We continue to carry out up to 12,000 PCR tests per day. But many people are now testing themselves, so they do not appear in the statistics. Therefore, it is very difficult to establish a comparison with other countries. It is better to compare the numbers of hospitals, but I think the dynamics of most European countries are similar”.

Many European Union countries no longer require a health pass to enter their territory. Similarly, you should no longer bother filling out the tedious Passenger Locator Form (PLF), unless you are returning from a country considered high risk. At the moment, no country belongs to this category.

What is the situation in the most popular countries for holidays?

FRANCE: registered 829,886 new infections in the last four weeks, for 1,190 registered deaths. Anyone traveling to France must present proof of vaccination. This vaccination pass is valid for 270 days, but is unlimited in time for those who have received a booster dose. Unvaccinated people are also welcome in our southern neighbors, as long as they have a recovery certificate (valid for 120 days) or a negative test (maximum 48 hours for an antigen test or 72 hours for a PCR test). As with us, the use of a mask is no longer mandatory, since May 16.

SPAIN recorded 328,593 new coronavirus infections in the past four weeks. 1,530 people died from it during the same period. The country, whose tourism is a large part of its economy, has lifted virtually all of its restrictions. On the other hand, the use of a mask is still mandatory on public transport.

PORTUGAL reported 609,258 new infections in the last four weeks, with 1,140 deaths. As in France, anyone over 12 years of age must present a vaccination certificate (valid for 270 days), or a recovery certificate (valid for 180 days), or a negative PCR test (with a maximum age of 72 hours). ) or antigen (no more than 24 hours old). The use of a mask is mandatory on public transport from the age of 6.

ITALY recorded 638,492 new Covid infections in 28 days. During this period, 1,748 infected people died. From June 1 you no longer need a health pass to enter the country. Restrictions are maintained on public transport, where the FFP2 mask is mandatory on trains and long bus trips, until September 30. However, since June 15, the FFP2 mask is strongly recommended at airports and high-traffic events, but is no longer mandatory. Italy still works with color zones. Therefore, the rules may differ from area to area.

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