Austrian officials have reimposed a nationwide lockdown and will require nearly all residents to be vaccinated by February 1, after COVID-19 cases hit a new record high. It’s the first such vaccine mandate in Europe.
In Germany, officials said they will exclude unvaccinated people from some public venues in areas where hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with patients.
Russia reported a record number of COVID deaths today for the third straight day with over 1,250 fatalities. The WHO says Europe is the current epicenter of the pandemic and the only region where deaths are on the rise.
Meanwhile, a new study published in the British Medical Journal found mask wearing cuts coronavirus transmission rates by more than half, while hand-washing and physical distancing sharply reduced the risk of getting infected.