Luxembourgh Times

Luxembourg looks to relax Covid rules

People who have received their second dose will not have to take a rapid test to go to restaurants under the proposed changes

Government will drop testing requirement for those who became fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid in last six months

Government will drop testing requirement for those who became fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid in last six months © Photo credit: Marc Wilwert

People with Covid-19 could only have to isolate for six days, Luxembourg's government said on Wednesday, as part of a planned loosening of coronavirus restrictions which could also make it easier for those who have not received a booster shot to go to restaurants and bars.

Parliamentarians rushed through new legislation in December to tackle the spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19. But the government has now made a U-turn on some of the rules, which included requiring those who have been fully vaccinated, but have not had a booster shot, to do a Covid self-test before entering any hospitality venue.

If parliament passes Prime Minister Xavier Bettel's proposals, those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid in the last six months will be exempt from doing a self-test before going to a hospitality venue, according to a government statement. The isolation period for those who test positive for the virus could also be shortened by four days, if the proposals are passed.

People who came into close contact with an infected person still need to self-isolate for six days if they are not vaccinated and must return a negative PCR on day six to leave quarantine, public broadcaster 100.7 reported on Wednesday, but the government did not confirm this in their press release.

Parliament's health commission will discuss the changes to the Covid law on Thursday morning, but no date has been set yet for a vote in parliament, according to a press release from parliament on Wednesday.

Vaccine mandate

Luxembourg could also this week confront the issue of mandatory vaccination against Covid-19, although this was not something mentioned in Wednesday's government statement.

Bettel last week proposed in a letter that parliament begin debating some form of requirement on Friday, with adoption possibly as early as next week.

Luxembourg's government is discussing what types of punishments would be appropriate for people who still refuse vaccines if a law requiring them is adopted, Bettel said during an interview with broadcaster RTL.

No schedule for lawmakers to take up the issue had been finalised as of early Monday, a Parliament spokeswoman said. But other European countries are consider requiring vaccine interventions.

Austria is so far the only country in Europe to make vaccinations mandatory for everyone, a requirement beginning next month, and holdouts could be fined up to €3,600 if they don't comply. Germany last month passed legislation requiring healthcare workers to prove that they are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 by mid-March, and leaders are discussing whether to expand that requirement more broadly.