British holidaymakers in France will need a Covid pass to visit the Eiffel Tower and other attractions
British holidaymakers will need a Covid pass to visit the Eiffel Tower and other top tourist attractions in France as concern grows about variants of the coronavirus.
To qualify for the “health pass”, people must show that they are fully vaccinated, have a negative virus test, or have proof that they have recently recovered from an infection.
The requirement went into effect Wednesday at cultural and tourist sites, including zoos, libraries, places of worship, live sports and music events, museums and even fairgrounds, as the government steps up its policy. campaign against a “stratospheric” increase in delta variant infections and fears of an increase in the beta variant originally identified in South Africa.
Comes after the British government announced travelers returning from France must continue to quarantine themselves from Monday – even if they are doubly bitten.
Westminster said this was due to the ‘lingering presence’ of the beta coronavirus variant in France.
Earlier this month, the President Emmanuel Macron advertised people in France will have to wear a Covid pass to go to the restaurant, shopping center or take the train or by plane, because he ordered all French caregivers to be vaccinated before September 15.Jab rates were at a standstill in France – one of the most vaccine-hesitant countries in Europe – but Mr Macron’s televised speech caused a huge increase in vaccine bookings – nearly a million people in France made an appointment for a vaccine in a single day after the president’s plea.Daily infections in France fell sharply in the spring but have risen again in the past two weeks, and some regions are reimposing virus restrictions. The government fears that pressure will intensify again on hospitals in the coming weeks.
Of particular concern is the beta variant, as it can escape vaccines.
What do we know about the beta variant and how much should we care about it?
Do the vaccines work against the beta variant?
A scientist advising the government has warned that the beta variant of the coronavirus spreading in France could escape vaccines and said ministers were right to be concerned.
“The beta variant remained a threat throughout. It’s probably less contagious than the Delta variant that’s spreading here in the UK right now. Where it has an advantage is that it is able to evade the immune response to a better extent, ”said Professor John Edmunds.
The member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) added, “As the population here becomes more and more immune, the conditions are right for the beta variant to gain an advantage, so I can understand the concern.
“Among the existing and known variants, this has always been a threat to us. There is good evidence from South Africa that it can evade the immune response generated by the AstraZeneca vaccine more effectively. “
Meanwhile, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said that even though the beta variant may elude vaccine immunity, he expects the AstraZeneca vaccine to still deliver a “very high protection “against hospitalization and death.
He said: “It’s actually good enough to evade vaccine immunity and so we would expect it to be able to spread in vaccinated populations.
“We know that people who have received RNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer vaccine, as well as the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, can be infected with the beta variant. “
But he added: “There is a really important study, which was conducted in South Africa by Johnson and Johnson, which showed that with just one dose of this vaccine, there was 100% protection against the disease. hospitalization and death.
“The RNA vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine and the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine are given in two doses. The AstraZeneca vaccine is very similar to that of Johnson and Johnson and we would expect biology to have very high protection against hospitalization and death, and I have absolutely no doubts that it will be, because it is so. that vaccines work.
Is it normal for viruses to mutate?
Yes. All viruses mutate – some faster and more efficiently than others.
“SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 evolves and mutates all the time, like all similar viruses,” said Professor Tom Solomon, director of the Health Protection Research Unit NIHR in emerging and zoonotic infections, the University of Liverpool said.
Many of these mutations will not be of significance or cause for concern, but some can give the virus an evolutionary advantage that can lead to higher transmission or mean it is more harmful.
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