Latest updates: France pushes boosters, tightens Covid restrictions as cases skyrocket

The president of the European Commission said Europe needs to “step up” vaccinations as infections rise across the continent ahead of the holiday season.

“Vaccination against Covid-19 is saving thousands of lives in the European Union,” Von der Leyen said on Thursday. “But a new wave is hitting us and we need to step up vaccination even further. ”

EU agencies are now recommending booster doses for all adults and the block has secured enough doses to support deployments in member states, she added.

Germany, the most populous country in the EU, recorded 63.8 new cases per 100,000 population on 23 November, after reporting troughs of 11.2 cases on average per 100,000 population in October.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s main public health authority, 100,119 people in the country have died from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The virus is spreading even faster in Austria and the Netherlands, according to the Financial Times coronavirus tracker.

Austria reported 157 average cases per 100,000 people in the week to November 23, down from a low of 0.8 on July 3. The country entered its fourth Covid-19 shutdown this week and unveiled plans to make vaccinations mandatory.

In the Netherlands, new cases stand at 126 per 100,000 people, up from 43 at the start of the month.

There have been protests in Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Croatia against the renewal of restrictions.

Meanwhile, the UK reported an average of 63.4 new cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to November 23, down from an average low of three cases per 100,000 people in May.

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