Heading off to a Euro holiday hotspot this summer? Well, it might be best to keep your wits about you. In recent weeks, major tourist destinations across Europe have been reporting a significant increase in Covid cases.
The likes of France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are all seeing a rise in Covid numbers, a reminder that, while the worst of the pandemic is (hopefully) behind us, the dreaded virus is very much still around.
The increase in cases is being fuelled by the spread of Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which are more contagious than previous strains but, thanks to vaccination rates and people having already caught other variants of the virus, aren’t thought to be any more likely to cause serious disease.
According to the The Guardian, last weekend Greece reported 11,700 new infections – about three times the figures recorded the previous weekend. Cases are mostly being recorded among people aged between 18 and 24, and there’s been a sharp increase in cases in popular tourist island destinations like Corfu and Zakynthos.
Spain is experiencing a similar increase in cases, with the islands of Majorca and Ibiza reporting especially high case numbers. Some parts of the country are so worried about the spread of the virus that the likes of the Canary Islands and the Costa del Sol are apparently considering bringing back a mask mandate for indoor public spaces.
France, meanwhile, has experienced an 80 percent increase in cases over the past fortnight, and Italy recorded a five-month high last week. All of which looks pretty bad, but it’s also worth putting into context. According to the UK government, for instance, England alone has seen nearly 140,000 new positive cases in the past week.
So what can you do about all this? Well, honestly, not much. You can make sure you’ve had a booster jab, not travel if you’re ill and follow local rules and regulations – and then just cross your fingers that you don’t catch Covid either before your holiday or while you’re there.
Plus: here are 10 ways to make sure you avoid holiday hell this summer.