A fourth wave without restrictions?

The fourth wave of the coronavirus is causing the number of deaths and severe cases to rise once more in many parts of Europe - in particular among the unvaccinated. The press discusses how restriction-weary citizens and their politicians should react.

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hvg (HU) /

Hungarian government prefers to look the other way

Instead of keeping infection rates low you can just conceal reality with negligent testing, hvg criticises:

“According to the statistics, only in Poland are testing rates lower in relation to the size of the population than in Hungary. ... The relatively low infection figures put the Hungarian government in a good position: Viktor Orbán can confidently point out that with such figures there is no need for new restrictions. Which means he won't be forced to introduce unpopular measures in the run-up to the elections [in spring 2022].”

Newsweek România (RO) /

Dancing at our funeral

Even though the fourth wave of Covid is causing a spike in the death rate in Romania, few are reconsidering getting vaccinated, laments editor-in-chief Răzvan Chiruţă in Newsweek România:

“Despite the fact that there were 1,561 patients in the country's intensive care units on Friday - the highest figure since the beginning of the pandemic - and another 15,467 sick people in a precarious state of health are being treated in hospital, scepticism about vaccination remains as powerful as it is worrying. ... We are attending a funeral, yet we're acting like we're at a wedding. We dance and drink at our funeral and don't worry about the fact that soon we'll be buried.”

Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Catastrophic consequences of the leadership crisis

In Eesti Päevaleht, editor-in-chief Urmo Soonvald blames the government for the high incidence and low vaccination rate in Estonia:

“Whereas Scandinavia is opening up, we've been plagued by the same problems for a year. The vaccination campaign is stalled, the leadership crisis is deepening, the authorities lack the necessary energy, leadership and vision to tackle the issue of how to change social attitudes. Those who wanted to help the state are frustrated because no one is listening to them. The present situation was avoidable, but criminal overconfidence and stupidity hang like an anchor around the neck of the government of Kaja Kallas and Tanel Kiik. And now the elections are looming, which are more important to politicians than infections, deaths or restrictions.”

Ilta-Sanomat (FI) /

Social solidarity in Finland put to the test

Ilta-Sanomat wonders how willing those who are vaccinated will be to accept renewed restrictions in view of rising infection rates:

“Society is now opening up, teleworking agreements are expiring and interpersonal contacts are increasing significantly. At the same time, the number of coronavirus cases is also on the rise. This is only natural, because there are still hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated people in Finland. ... If the situation continues to worsen, the question of whether regional restrictions will once again be necessary will arise. The question is how to approach this when we know that the virus is circulating mainly among the unvaccinated. Will the vaccinated show sufficient solidarity, and will they be willing to accept new restrictions?”