Covid cases are on the rise across Europe. Germany is the latest country to warn after infections rose sharply this past week. However, it said that the rise is to be expected as winter approaches.

Friday’s announcement by Germany’s health ministry was that there are an increasing number of cases in all age groups. They had recorded nearly 20,000 new infections in 24 hour, a 75% increase week-on–week, despite the existence of mask mandates and Covid passports. 

‘It is to be expected that the increase in case numbers will pick up speed in… autumn and winter,’ Oliver Ewald said, with German ministers not expected to increase current restrictions or reimpose lockdowns.

The figures from Germany reflect a trend across Europe, with the UK, Netherlands and Belgium, among many other countries, seeing their infection rates rise as the colder weather approaches.

Although there are many restrictions, none of the countries have increased their vaccination rates in response to rising cases.

Latvia became the first European nation to enter winter lockdown as Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins announced this week that the country would shut down for a month in response to rising cases.

Covid cases are rising across large parts of Europe as winter approaches with Germany becoming the latest country to issue a warning, though current restrictions will not be tightened as health chiefs say rise is 'expected' (pictured, a graph comparing the infection rate of European countries relative to the size of their populations)

Covid cases are on the rise across Europe as winter approaches. Germany is the latest to issue a warning. However, health chiefs have said that the rise is ‘expected’. (pictured, a graph comparing infection rates of European countries with their populations).

Germany currently has some of the most-restrictive Covid measures in Europe, with widespread use of Covid passports and has made medical-grade masks mandatory in indoor public spaces - though is still seeing cases rise

Germany has some of Europe’s most restrictive Covid measures. It has a large use of Covid passports, and has made mandatory the wearing of medical-grade masks in public spaces. However, it is still seeing an increase in cases.

His country has the highest level of infection in Europe, compared with its population size. This is a fact that he blamed on low vaccination rates. Only 57% of the population has been double-jabbed, compared to a European average 75 percent.

Ilze Vinkele, who was the country’s former health minister and oversaw the response to earlier infections, has blamed lower jab rates on vaccine hesitancy among older, as well as younger, people. Daniels Pavluts is the current health minister and has blamed low jab rates on misinformation spread through Russian media.

Russia, where only 32% of the population was double-jabbed, is also suffering from a severe wave of Covid infections. This has seen some regions reimpose restrictions even though the government denies that it is reentering lockdown.

Sergey Sobyanin of Moscow, the Mayor, has ordered that elderly residents remain at home for a period of four months. He also instructed businesses that only 30% must work from home. 

The Kremlin is asking people to get vaccinated, as the country’s inadequately funded healthcare system struggles with the increasing number of cases.

Frank Vandenbroucke was also the Belgian health minister. He warned of the country’s growing case numbers, but said that a new wave is to be expected.

He said, “We are going to need to brace ourselves for the fourth wave,” while urging the government to expand the use Covid passports and make indoor masks mandatory.

Belgium requires Covid passports for nightclubs, and mandates masks for public transport. However, they are recommended in all indoor areas. Some regions, like Brussels, have more stringent requirements.

Latvia has become the only European country to reimpose lockdown so-far amid soaring infections which the country's prime minister has put down to the low vaccination rate, with just 57 per cent double jabbed (pictured, medics set up a temporary ward inside a Latvian hospital)

Latvia is the only European country to have reinstituted lockdown in the face of rising infections. The prime minister of Latvia has attributed the high rate of infection to the low vaccination rate at 57% double jabbed. (pictured, medics created a temporary ward within a Latvian hospital).

The Netherlands has similar rules to Belgium for mask use and Covid passports. There is also a spike of cases in the Netherlands. But, health advisors say there are no plans to reinstate night-time curfews like those that were implemented during the violent protests last winter.

Instead, the Netherlands’ public healthcare institute pointed out that “most of those in hospital for Covid-19 haven’t been vaccinated” and urged people to get their shots.

While Germany has stricter Covid rules than Belgium and the Netherlands, it is seeing an increase in cases.

To enter most indoor spaces where face to face interactions take place, such as restaurants or hair salons, Covid passports must be carried. While a Covid pass is not required to enter shops and other indoor spaces, people must wear a medical grade mask in order to gain entry.  

The leaders from Germany’s 16 regional countries are meeting to discuss the next steps to fight the pandemic. They will likely keep the existing measures in place.

Germany’s public health agency pleaded with all citizens to respect the recommended health guidelines, even if they are not fully vaccinated. 

According to the report, “Unnecessary close contact should be reduced” and indoor situations that could be so-called super spreading events should not be avoided.

More than 66 per cent of Germany’s population are now fully vaccinated for Covid. Nearly 70% of the population has received at least one dose.

Poland, which borders Germany, has also warned about rising Covid cases. Health ministers said a ‘fourth Wave’ has arrived, while vaccination rates hover around 50%.

Adam Niedzielski, the health minister, described the rise in cases as an “explosion” and warned that more people may not be able to get their jabs.

European ministers have resisted calls to reimpose lockdowns and are instead urging people to get their first vaccines and booster shots, with health advisors in the Netherlands (file image) pointing out that most people in hospital are not jabbed

European ministers have refused calls to reimpose locksdowns, and instead are encouraging people to get their first vaccines or booster shots. Health advisors from the Netherlands (file picture) are reminding people that they are not being jabbed in most hospitals.

In the UK, Covid cases have also risen from an already-high level to levels not seen since the start of the year when lockdown was implemented. However, ministers insist there is no need to tighten restrictions.

Britain is a leader in Europe’s escape from lockdowns. It has dropped nearly all of its Covid restrictions and adopted a ‘common sense approach’ to living with the virus.

The country also boasts one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe with nearly 70% being fully jabbed.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, stated that although case rates are on the rise, they had been predicted and the current numbers were well within government expectations.

He said there ‘is absolutely nothing to indicate’ that further restrictions or a lockdown will be needed, though added that a roll-out of booster jabs will be sped up while encouraging people to come forward for their shots.

During a visit to a vaccination center today, he stated that ‘I think there is a lot of steps that need to be taken to continue to follow this guidance.’

‘So commonsensical things – washing your hands, wearing a mask in confined spaces where you don’t normally meet other people …where you are meeting people that you don’t normally meet I should say.

“That’s reasonable. The main message for today is to all over 50s to get your booster jab.

“When you get the call, get your jab.”