Portugal’s crisis and Denmark’s digital passport: Latest across Europe

Portugal’s surge in Covid cases is continuing, with another 9,000 cases in 24 hours and the number of patients in hospital rising to 6,684. Hospital beds in some areas are running out and German medics have arrived to help out, as our report from Lisbon explains.

Denmark is planning to introduce a “digital corona passport” as a proof of vaccination. Swedish ministers are keen on the idea too – with the aim of helping to reopen society and kick-start business. But should it mean that unvaccinated Danes can’t go into cafes and restaurants? One opinion poll says 31% of Danes don’t think so.

Norway’s health authority has become the latest in Europe not to recommend the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for over-65s. Health authorities in Germany, Austria, France and elsewhere have already imposed restrictions even though the EU’s health authority has approved the drug, so what is the evidence? Our Reality Check team report here.

Germany’s ruling parties have agreed a package of new financial aid measures. There’ll be a one-off €150 (£130) bonus to child benefit, extra money for culture and the restaurant sector will have a cut on sales tax extended until the end of the year.

Delays to Covid vaccinations could cost the EU’s economy €90bn this year if it fails to catch up with vaccination programmes, according to a study by credit insurer Euler Hermes. Every euro invested would save €4 in losses due to current restrictions, it says.

French PM Jean Castex is not expected to announce another lockdown in his latest press conference this evening. But an opinion poll suggests as many as 55% want a hard lockdown, and young people are more keen on it than over-65s.

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