Europe

Airlines welcomed the change in guidance and called for a consistent approach to mask mandates. File photo: AP
EU dropping Covid-19 mask mandate for planes and airports

EU-wide guidance on requiring masks for air travel will be lifted from next week, as the pandemic eases in Europe.

12 May 2022 - 3:05PM
People queuing for a rapid test in Aalborg, Denmark in December 2021. File photo: AFP
Scientists in some countries question costly Covid-19 mass testing

Two years into the pandemic, health officials are questioning the merits of repeated, mass testing when it comes to containing infections, particularly considering the billions it costs.

10 May 2022 - 2:32PM
People in Naples, southern Italy on the day when new Covid-19 rules came into force. Photo: EPA-EFE
Tourists rejoice as Italy, Greece relax Covid-19 restrictions

As of Sunday, visitors to Italy no longer have to fill out the EU passenger locator form, and Greece’s civil aviation authority announced that it was lifting all Covid-19 rules for international and domestic flights.

2 May 2022 - 8:09AM
A woman wearing face mask walks in front of an open Parisian cafe in France in March. Photo: AP
EU moving out of Covid-19 pandemic ‘emergency mode’

The focus will no longer be on mass reporting of all coronavirus cases, but rather on obtaining reliable and representative estimates.

28 Apr 2022 - 8:20AM
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) stands with Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a meeting with Small Business Saturday entrepreneurs in Downing Street in central London in December 2021. Photo: AFP
UK PM Johnson and finance minister face calls to quit over ‘partygate’ fines

Police have been investigating alcohol-fuelled parties at No 10 Downing Street at a time when such gatherings were banned under strict Covid-19 rules

13 Apr 2022 - 2:12AM
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Getty Images/TNS
Queen Elizabeth says Covid-19 left her ‘very tired and exhausted’

The monarch spoke of serious fatigue in a video call with health workers and patients at a London hospital.

11 Apr 2022 - 12:12PM
The vaccination against coronavirus is waning in England. Photo: AP
UK Covid at highest level as immunity wanes

Elsewhere, Germany seals a deal for over 60s to be vaccinated from October; antibody treatment loses US authorisation because it’s unlikely to work against BA.2.

6 Apr 2022 - 4:58PM
Some 76 per cent of people in Germany has received two vaccine doses. File photo: AP
German man got some 90 vaccine shots so he could sell forged passes

It was not immediately clear what kind of impact the around 90 shots of vaccines, which were from different brands, had on the man’s health.

3 Apr 2022 - 10:29PM
A couple kiss on a street in Barcelona in 2021. Spain plans to treat a coronavirus infection almost like a normal illness similar to flu. File photo: Reuters
Spain, once pandemic epicentre, to treat Covid-19 like flu

In Spain, those who become infected with coronavirus and develop only mild symptoms of the disease or none at all can continue to lead a normal life.

28 Mar 2022 - 11:40AM
The Russian mission to Italy involved some 100 army personnel and medical workers. File photo: Russian Ministry of Defence
Probe in Italy: was Russian pandemic aid team on spying mission?

There are growing concerns in Italy that a Russian military and medical team sent to help the country early in the Covid-19 pandemic had another purpose.

25 Mar 2022 - 11:24AM
People wear protective face masks as they walk along a street in Paris, France. Photo: Reuters
Coronavirus surging in Europe due to fewer curbs and subvariant

Some have blamed governments for relaxing restrictions too quickly, but epidemiologists also pointed the finger at the Omicron BA. 2 subvariant.

22 Mar 2022 - 3:03AM
Partygoers enjoy a carnival in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in late February, after the easing of pandemic rules. Photo: AFP
Europe hit by Covid resurgence after rushed exit, rise of ‘stealth Omicron’

Infection rates in Germany and Austria have reached new highs, while cases in the Netherlands have doubled since pandemic curbs were lifted last month.

17 Mar 2022 - 8:38AM
London’s Heathrow Airport. Photo: Bloomberg
UK to end last Covid-19 international travel rules

Britain’s government said all remaining measures for travelers, including passenger locator forms and the requirement that unvaccinated people be tested for Covid-19 before and after their arrivals, will end Friday.

15 Mar 2022 - 8:12AM
French Prime Minister Jean Castex. Photo: AFP
France offers fourth coronavirus vaccination to over-80s

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the fully vaccinated were recommended to continue wearing face masks as France relaxes its Covid-19 restrictions.

13 Mar 2022 - 3:31AM
Covid-19 tracking and contact-tracing apps have become essential for many people to have on their smartphones to safely carry on outside their homes. Photo: Shutterstock
Must-have Covid-19 tracking apps for international travellers

These apps have become essential for many people to safely carry on outside their homes, while observing social-distancing rules.

28 Feb 2022 - 10:53AM
Commuters in London. Britain this week announced it would scrap all remaining Covid-19 restrictions, including the requirement for people with the illness to self-isolate. Photo: EPA
New Covid-19 cases fall for the third week globally, WHO says

The number of new coronavirus cases around the world fell 21 per cent in the last week, while reported deaths fell 8 per cent.

23 Feb 2022 - 3:19PM
A man wearing a face mask walks past a health campaign poster in an underpass leading to Westminster underground train station in London in January. Photo: AP
England scraps Covid-19 rules, seeks shift to ‘personal responsibility’

Those with Covid-19 will no longer have to self-isolate, PM Boris Johnson says, and free PCR tests will be available only to older people and the immune-compromised.

22 Feb 2022 - 2:11AM
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle on February 16. Photo: dpa
‘Everyone loves her’: messages pour in after UK queen gets Covid-19

News that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth had tested positive for Covid-19 drew shock, concern and messages of goodwill from across the country.

21 Feb 2022 - 12:22PM