July 26, 2021

travelers from the United States authorized to enter the European Union, even unvaccinated

As the summer season approaches and the vaccination campaigns advance, borders and tourist sites are gradually reopening, like the iconic Taj Mahal in India, which has been closed for two months.

The pandemic has killed more than 3.8 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse, from official sources on Tuesday, June 15. Behind the United States, which has more than 600,000 dead, the countries reporting the highest number of deaths are Brazil (nearly 500,000), India (over 370,000) and Mexico (over 230 000).

  • The European Union is reopening its borders a little more

The ambassadors of the Twenty-Seven gave the green light on Wednesday to add the United States to their list of countries and territories whose travelers, even not vaccinated against Covid-19, can be admitted to the European Union (EU ). In addition to the United States, Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao have also been added to this list, which until then included only eight countries (Japan, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand).

An American national receives a dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Miami International Airport (USA), in May 2021.
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This does not, however, prevent travelers from these countries or territories from being subject by the states where they go to measures such as tests or quarantine. As a reminder, the EU decided in May to allow access to its space to any vaccinated traveler, wherever he comes from.

To draw up their list, the Europeans are based in particular on the epidemiological situation of the country, as well as on the progress of its vaccination campaign, the number of tests carried out, and on the reliability of the data. Countries are eligible to be included if they have recorded less than 75 cases of Covid per 100,000 inhabitants over the last fourteen days.

  • In India, the Taj Mahal reopens after two months of closure

Tourists found the Taj Mahal in Agra (India) on June 16, 2021.

The iconic Taj Mahal, a universal symbol of undying love, reopened to visitors on Wednesday after a two-month shutdown imposed at the height of India’s second epidemic wave. In Agra, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the white marble mausoleum stands, tourists were still few in number, especially as the authorities have set the maximum number of admissions allowed each day at 650.

Built between 1631 and 1648 at the initiative of the Mughal emperor Shâh Jahân to perpetuate the memory of his deceased favorite wife, the monument was closed in mid-April, when a new wave of contamination by the coronavirus struck violently the country, until the peak of May. Strict sanitary measures remain in use there today: it is in particular forbidden to touch the sparkling marble of the monument.

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The total number of daily contaminations has finally decreased in the country for a few weeks, prompting several large cities (including the capital, New Delhi, but also Bombay) to relax travel restrictions and those applying to commercial activity. In total, the country has officially recorded 379,573 deaths and 29.63 million infections since the start of the pandemic, but many experts believe that the real toll is far higher.

  • Moscow makes vaccination compulsory in the service sector

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin at a military parade in Moscow in May 2021.

On Wednesday, the mayor of the Russian capital, Sergei Sobyanin, announced an obligation of vaccination against Covid-19 for 60% of employees in the service sector, according to a decree published on Wednesday, in order to counter an epidemiological development that could prove to be “Dramatic”. “We simply have to do everything to carry out mass vaccination as quickly as possible, to stop this terrible disease and to put an end to the deaths of thousands of people”, thus estimated Mr. Sobyanine on the site of the City hall of Moscow.

Faced with a surge in the number of cases, he had already declared nonworking throughout the week of June 15, to fight against the deterioration of the situation. Currently, 12,000 people are hospitalized in Moscow for Covid-19. “Morbidity is at the peaks of the end of 2020”, noted the mayor, with reference to the second deadly wave of the epidemic in Russia.

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This announcement is a first in the country, and goes against the statements of President Vladimir Putin, who, while calling on the Russians to be vaccinated, was opposed to any compulsory measure. The runaway situation in Moscow, which officially has 12 million to 13 million inhabitants, of which only 1.8 million are vaccinated, prompted Mr. Sobyanin to impose vaccination.

To date, barely 19 million Russians, or less than 13% of the population, have received at least one dose, according to the census carried out by the Gogov site, which aggregates data from regions and the media for lack of official national statistics. .

The World with AFP