Luxembourg army recruits must be fully vaccinated
People hoping to join Luxembourg's army from the start of next year will only be accepted if they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Defence Minister François Bausch said on Thursday.
Luxembourg’s current restrictions to tackle a surge in Covid-19 cases mean those wanting to enter bars, restaurants, cinemas or other leisure facilities must prove they have been vaccinated or recently recovered from the virus.
As of January 15, workers wanting to go into the office will also have to show either of those two requirements or a negative test result. Failure to do so could result in the employee facing disciplinary action or being barred from the workplace.
But the Grand Duchy’s armed forces have gone one step further and applicants to join the army must prove they have been fully vaccinated, as of next Saturday, January 1, Bausch said in response to a parliamentary question.
There are currently no plans to impose the requirement on people in other public roles or government ministries, he added.
Parliamentarians will vote on Christmas Eve on a fresh set of proposals by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, unveiled on Wednesday, to further tighten the current restrictions.
If approved by deputies, the new rules would see access to restaurants or bars only granted to those with proof of a Covid-19 booster shot, or those willing to undergo a rapid self-test before entry. Premises would also be forced to close at 23:00.
Bettel's announced the plans as the world grapples with Omicron, a new and more contagious mutation of the virus, although it is not clear whether it is also more deadly.
Like other countries, Luxembourg is facing a new onslaught of the virus, recording a further 600 new infections on Wednesday and two new deaths. Yet the number of patients needing hospital treatment is much lower than during previous peaks, indicating that vaccine treatments are working.
Luxembourg has so far administered just over a million vaccine doses, of 166,000 of which are booster doses.