Europe’s best-selling tabloid Bild has congratulated the British government on its coronavirus vaccine rollout, stating that Germany “envies” the United Kingdom.
The newspaper’s print edition ran the headline “Dear Britain, WE ENVY YOU!” emblazed on top of a Union Jack on the front page of the newspaper’s February 24th edition. It noted the timeline given by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which aims to lift all coronavirus restrictions in England by June 21st at the earliest.
Bild, which has the highest circulation of any newspaper in Europe, compared the daily vaccination rates of the United Kingdom — which is presently giving shots to an average of 360,000 people per day — to that of Germany, which has managed an average of just 140,000 per day.
“While the British are already planning their summer holidays, Germany is stuck in the lockdown,” the newspaper wrote.
Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reportedly criticised European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s vaccine programme, calling it “really shit”. https://t.co/K6krcnYBzF
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 6, 2021
Chancellor Angela Merkel has not made mention of reopening the country in the spring or the summer but has instead focused on warning of another potential wave of infections.
Helge Braun, head of the Federal Chancellery, warned that March, April, and May could be “difficult months” and opening up the country in March could lead to a “sharp increase” in new coronavirus infections.
The headline comes after weeks of severe criticism of the European Union and German federal government, as it became clear the extent to which they were lagging behind newly-free Brexit Britain. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen even compared the United Kingdom to a “speedboat” in remarks on the scandal, for which she has personally taken significant criticism.
Britain Leads the World: Harshest Lockdown in West, But Significant Death Rates https://t.co/vtH7VNDHNC
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 24, 2021
While Britain has been radically successful in getting vaccine shots to more people — with over 27 per cent of Britons now having had a dose, compared to just six per cent in Europe as a whole — the country is also experiencing high death rates. In fact, according to official figures, Britain has one of the highest death rates from coronavirus in the world, at 1,781 per million head of population. Germany has seen 826 deaths per million, one of the lowest rates in Europe.
On vaccinations, the United Kingdom has also seen proposals to make getting the shot a requirement for entering certain businesses and venues, including cinemas and air travel. After months of denials, the Prime Minister said the government was looking into a “Covid status certification” for individuals as part of rolling back the lockdown this week, prompting anti-nanny state campaigners to note sardonically that the government had misspelt “Covid passports”.
Earlier this month, the British Department for Health and Social Care, the Department for Transport, and the Foreign Office stated that they were working on a “vaccine passport” for holidaymakers who wanted to visit destinations abroad, such as Greece.
In the private sector, several companies have approached law firms to create employment contracts that would require the vaccine in order to be hired.
An unnamed lawyer spoke to the Financial Times saying that some companies could run afoul of discrimination laws if those who refused the vaccine did so for religious reasons or for underlying health issues.
“I do think that we are going to be in a position where we have to have an annual coronavirus vaccine, and that annual vaccine will be tailored to the variant strains in the UK at that particular moment." https://t.co/BNrl698bfA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 2, 2021