Accessibility links

Breaking News

EU Warns Against COVID-19 Complacency as Delta Variant Spreads

FILE - People queue at a mass coronavirus vaccination center held in Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, in north London, June 25, 2021.

The vice president of the European Commission on Monday warned against complacency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic as the highly infectious delta variant, first discovered in India, continues to spread on the continent.

During a European Union parliamentary committee meeting, European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said a recent advisory from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) indicates the delta variant is expected to account for 70% of all new cases in Europe by August, and 90% by the end of that month.

He said ECDC modeling scenarios suggested that further relaxations of coronavirus safety restrictions would lead to "a significant increase in daily cases in all age groups with an associated increase in hospitalizations and probably deaths."

Schinas added he had doubts about London's Wembley stadium hosting the semi-final or final match of the European soccer championship at high capacity. He said given Britain's travel restrictions on travel to Europe, "there needs to be a certain amount of symmetry to these decisions."

"I think here that UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) would do well to carefully analyze its decision," he added.

The British government has said Wembley will be allowed to hold the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final with at least 60,000 fans. Britain's new Health Minister Sajid David told Parliament Monday he sees no reason why the government cannot go ahead with its plan to lift all restrictions in the country by July 19.

This article contains content from The Associated Press and Reuters.