Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2021
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This article documents the chronology of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2021, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect. Reporting on this pandemic began in December 2019.
Reactions and measures in the United Nations
- The World Health Organization issued an emergency use listing (EUL) for NVX-CoV2373, expanding the basket of WHO-validated vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged people to cancel their holiday plans and remain at home for the Christmas holidays in order to combat the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant.
Reactions and measures in Africa
Reactions and measures in the Americas
- Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio has announced that all private employers in the city will be required to ensure that their workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 by 27 December 2021.
Reactions and measures in the Eastern Mediterranean
Reactions and measures in Europe
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz have announced that German federal and state governments will impose various restrictions limiting most businesses and public venues to the vaccinated or recovered individuals, capacity limits at sports venues, and mask requirements at schools. In addition, the Bundestag will vote on legislation to introduce mandatory vaccination.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared an "Omicron emergency" and offered booster jabs to everyone above the age of 18 years in response to rising Omicron variant cases.
- France has banned non-essential travel from the United Kingdom in response to the spread of the Omicron variant.
- The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan declares a major incident in response to the rapid spread of Omicron cases in London.
- The Netherlands reinstates lockdown restrictions in response to the spread of the Omicron variant.
- British Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid has stated that the British Government will not rule out further lockdown restrictions prior to Christmas in order to combat the Omicron variant.
- Germany has restricted travel from the United Kingdom, limiting entry to German nationals and UK residents residing in Germany. Denmark, France, Norway and Lebanon have also been added to Germany's "high risk list," restricting travel from those countries.
Reactions and measures in South, East and Southeast Asia
- Singapore's Health Sciences Authority approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 with the first shots to be given by the end of the year, making Pfizer-BioNTech the first allowed for children. The use of booster shots is extended to individuals above 18 years of age starting from 14 December, with Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine approved for full registration.
The Malaysian Government has reinstated several COVID-19 restrictions including including banning mass gatherings and requiring booster doses for high-risk groups in response to the country's second case of the Omicron variant.
- The Chinese city of Xi'an has imposed a lockdown on residents to combat a COVID-19 outbreak that began on 9 December.
- The Malaysian Government has lifted a travel ban on travelers from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia. The Government has also reduced the interval between primary and booster shots to three months.
Reactions and measures in the Western Pacific
- New Zealand's Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out for children aged 5 to 11 years from late January 2022.
- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Auckland and all other "red" regions excluding Northland will move to the "orange" setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework at 11.59pm on 30 December.
- The Victorian state government has allowed unvaccinated individuals to visit retail shops but must wear face masks.
- "WHO lists 9th COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use with aim to increase access to vaccination in lower-income countries". World Health Organization. 17 December 2021. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
- "WHO urges cancelling some holiday events over Omicron fears". BBC News. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
- "New York City sets Covid vaccine mandate for all private employers". The Guardian. Associated Press. 6 December 2021. Archived from the original on 7 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
- "German leaders approve new COVID curbs for unvaccinated". Deutsche Welle. 2 December 2021. Archived from the original on 4 December 2021. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
- "Covid: Germany puts major restrictions on unvaccinated". BBC News. 2 December 2021. Archived from the original on 4 December 2021. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
- Gillett, Francesca (13 December 2021). "Covid: Boris Johnson sets new booster target over 'Omicron tidal wave'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
- Sinha, Amitabh (13 December 2021). "UK declares 'Omicron emergency', to give booster shots to all above 18 from this week". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
- Henley, Jon (16 December 2021). "France to tighten Covid restrictions on travel from Omicron-hit UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
- "Covid: UK Omicron cases grow by more than 10,000 as major incident declared in London". ITV. 18 December 2021. Archived from the original on 18 December 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Quinn (Now), Ben; Lawther (Earlier), Fran; Stewart, Heather; Wolfe-Robinson, Maya (19 December 2021). "Covid live: UK minister not ruling out 'circuit breaker' before Christmas; Netherlands lockdown begins | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Covid: Javid does not rule out more Covid measures". BBC News. 28 November 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Cursino, Malu (20 December 2021). "Covid: Germany tightens restrictions on UK travellers". BBC News. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
- Ganapathy, Kurt (11 December 2021). "Singapore approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11; first shots by end-2021". CNA. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
- "Malaysia imposes stricter rules, booster requirements over Omicron threat". Reuters. 16 December 2021. Archived from the original on 6 January 2022. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
- "Xi'an: Chinese city under lockdown as Covid cases rise". BBC News. 22 December 2021. Archived from the original on 3 January 2021. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
- "Malaysia lifts COVID-19 travel ban on 8 African countries, cuts booster interval amid Omicron fears". Channel News Asia. 28 December 2021. Archived from the original on 28 December 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
- "Covid-19 briefing: Children aged 5-11 may be able to get vaccine doses from end of January". Radio New Zealand. 1 December 2021. Archived from the original on 2 December 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
- Witton, Bridie (1 December 2021). "Covid-19: Vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 due to begin from January". Stuff. Archived from the original on 2 December 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
- "Watch live: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces any changes to traffic light system". Radio New Zealand. 13 December 2021. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
- "Victoria COVID-19 restrictions: Unvaccinated people allowed into Victorian retail stores but mask mandate remain". 9 News. Nine Entertainment. 15 December 2021. Archived from the original on 15 December 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2021.