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With the new rules, bars and restaurants will be allowed to stay open after 23:00

Luxembourg to ease Covid-restrictions ahead of possible vaccine mandate

Luxembourg to ease Covid-restrictions ahead of possible vaccine mandate

The mandate is supposed to target people over 50 and healthcare workers

Last Friday, Luxembourgish Prime Minister Xavier Bettel announced that the Grand Duchy will join the countries shaking off COVID-19 restrictions. Along with Health Minister Paulette Lenert, Bettel announced that the government will drop a host of pandemic measures, including the curfews for bars and restaurants, with the new guidelines coming into force today, after a vote in parliament on Monday.

The vaccine mandate in Luxembourg

Despite the government’s decision to loosen restrictions, Prime Minister Bettel has said that a vaccine mandate is still very much on the table. The law on the vaccine mandate in Luxembourg should come in parliament for a vote in the coming weeks.

It focuses on a more limited approach to the issue, as opposed to Austria’s universal vaccination. The Luxembourgish law should cover only people over 50 as well as healthcare workers.

During a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Bettel explained that he does not see lifting restrictions to contradict the vaccine mandate, as it is still the most effective measure to ensure a long-term return to normal life. At the same time, he stressed that finding the right balance between freedom and safety is a major focus of the government.

He pointed to data from the Health Ministry pointing out that unvaccinated people are around 19 times more likely to end up in intensive care units.

The new rules

The decision to loosen Covid-restrictions was prompted by an eased situation in hospitals, as there are currently 82 people hospitalised with coronavirus, 12 of whom are in intensive care.

The new rules will allow bars and restaurants to stay open after 23:00, as well as drop some restrictions on public events, allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 2,000 people again.

Furthermore, people without booster shots will no longer be required to take a Covid-test showing them free of the virus. At the same time, people visiting hospitals will have to be recovered or vaccinated and will be tested on-site.

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