German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Tuesday that more people needed to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before restrictions could be lifted, following news that England will scrap nearly all curbs from next week.
On July 19, England will lift the legal requirement to wear masks and for people to physically distance, in what one German official called “a highly risky experiment.”
Germany reported 646 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, up from 440 a week ago, with an uptick in the number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days to 6.4 from 4.9.
“The central question is how many people will seek a vaccination,” Merkel told a news conference. “The more people are vaccinated, the more free we will all be again.”
A move by France to make vaccinations compulsory for all health-care workers spurred debate in Germany over whether people in some professions should be forced to get a shot, but Merkel said on Tuesday that would not happen.
“There will be no compulsory vaccination,” she said, noting that forcing people to get the shot could undermine public trust in the vaccination campaign.
Merkel said that the government would seek to avoid another lockdown of the economy in the autumn but said it was important to maintain physical distancing and other measures to prevent infections from spreading, even as more people are vaccinated.
-From Reuters, last updated at 7:30 a.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
As of early Tuesday morning, Canada had reported 1,421,127 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 5,142 considered active. The country’s COVID-19 death toll stood at 26,439. More than 42.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far across the country, according to a CBC News tally.
In Atlantic Canada on Monday, health officials reported a single new case of COVID-19. The case was reported in Nova Scotia, where Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang urged people to get their second dose.
“Waiting keeps you and others at risk,” he said at a briefing about COVID-19 on Monday.
There were no new cases reported in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador or Prince Edward Island.
In Quebec, health officials on Monday reported one additional death since Friday and 199 cases of COVID-19.
Ontario, meanwhile, reported 114 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and no new deaths from the virus.
In Alberta, where health officials were providing updated figures covering the weekend, there were no new deaths reported and 90 new cases of COVID-19.
Across the North, there were 19 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Yukon on Monday and one more death. There were no new cases reported in Nunavut or the Northwest Territories.
British Columbia on Monday reported no new deaths and 123 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday.
-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated at 7 a.m. ET
What’s happening around the world
As of early Tuesday morning, more than 187.2 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker. The reported global death toll stood at more than four million.
In Europe, Russia’s sovereign fund has announced a deal with a top Indian vaccine manufacturer to produce the Russia-designed Sputnik V vaccine. The Russian Direct Investment Fund said Tuesday its deal with the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, envisages annual production of over 300 million doses of the vaccine in India starting in September.
The update came as Russia on Tuesday reported 780 coronavirus-related deaths, the most confirmed in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic, as well as 24,702 new cases nationwide.
In the Americas, Brazil registered 745 COVID-19 deaths on Monday and 17,031 additional cases, according to data released by the nation’s Health Ministry. The South American country has now registered a total of 534,233 coronavirus deaths and 19,106,971 confirmed cases
In the Middle East, the death toll from a catastrophic blaze that erupted at a coronavirus hospital ward in southern Iraq the previous day rose to 64 on Tuesday, Iraqi medical officials said. Two health officials said more than 100 people were also injured in the fire that torched the coronavirus ward of al-Hussein Teaching Hospital in the city of Nasiriyah on Monday.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea reported more than 1,000 new cases for a seventh straight day, as the country battles its worst-ever outbreak spurred by the highly contagious delta variant.
Malaysia shut down a mass vaccination centre Tuesday after more than 200 medical staff and volunteers tested positive for the coronavirus. Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said it was difficult to determine if the infections occurred at the centre, while stressing that swift government action had stopped the cluster.
In Africa, health officials in South Africa on Monday reported 11,182 new cases of COVID-19 and 220 deaths. The update came as the country faced protests over the jailing of Jacob Zuma, the former president.
–From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 7:20 a.m. ET