Roundup: EU asks countries to hold tight, Latvia limits alcohol, tobacco

Madrid Desk, Dec 2 (efe-epa).- The European Commission on Wednesday urged member states to maintain Covid-19 restrictions over the winter holiday period, something Italian authorities have already said they would do.

Latvian officials prohibited the sale of alcohol and tobacco during the weekend as part of their coronavirus plan while France asked neighboring Spain and Switzerland to join them in closing ski resorts over the winter break.


The Commission offered its Covid-19 winter strategy, urging EU nations to retain strict health and safety protocols for the coming months until an ample section of the population has received a vaccine.

“Every 17 seconds a person loses their life due to COVID-19 in Europe,” said Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for health and food safety.

“The situation may be stabilising, but it remains delicate. Like everything else this year, end of the year festivities will be different. We cannot jeopardise the efforts made by us all in the recent weeks and months.

“This year, saving lives must come before celebrations. But with vaccines on the horizon, there is also hope. All Member States must now be ready to start vaccination campaigns and roll-out vaccines as quickly as possible once a safe and effective vaccine is available,” she added.

The European Medicines Agency is currently evaluating rapid authorization requests submitted by Pfizer/BioNTech, which was approved by the United Kingdom on Wednesday, and Moderna.

The UK is due to roll out its first batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines next week.


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