EU chief calls for mandatory vaccinations; Germany warned over ICU capacity; More countries slapping the unjabbed with fines, bans…

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The EU must consider mandatory vaccination in response to the spread of the “highly contagious” Omicron Covid variant across Europe, the European commission president Ursula von der Leyen has said.

In a call to arms to the member states, Von der Leyen said the EU’s 27 member states should rapidly deploy booster doses and backed countries who temporarily enforced pre-travel PCR tests even within the bloc’s borders.

Asked whether she supported the Greek government in imposing a €100 (£85) monthly fine on those aged 60 and over who failed to get a Covid jab, Von der Leyen said that the spread of the disease and the lack of vaccine take up in parts of the EU meant it should be on the table as a policy response.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Von der Leyen, who practised as a doctor before her political career, said: “We have the vaccines, the life saving vaccines, but they are not being used adequately everywhere. And this costs…. This is an enormous health cost coming along.”

She added: “How we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the European Union, this needs discussion. This needs a common approach, but it is a discussion that I think has to be met.”

Germany and Israel are moving closer to making Covid-19 vaccine shots compulsory, Greece is introducing fines and Spain is banning some unvaccinated travelers. Despite protests, making life harder for those who don’t want a shot is a tactic increasingly favored by governments, spooked by the spread of the omicron variant.

Here are some of the measures against the unvaccinated deployed by governments around the world.


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