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Spain: Catalan Supreme Court approves use of Covid passport in bars, restaurants and gyms | Society



Spain: Catalan Supreme Court approves use of Covid passport in bars, restaurants and gyms |  Society

The Catalan Supreme Court on Thursday decided to ban the use of the European Union Digital COVID Certificate in bars, restaurants, gyms and nursing homes in Catalonia. This so-called Covid passport is accessible in Spain through the health care system of each region and confirms whether the wearer has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has recently recovered from infection or has been tested for the virus. The new measure will take effect on Friday and will take effect on the weekend.

The Covid passport is already required at nighttime venues, music festivals and events such as weddings and banquets in the Spanish region. But with the number of coronavirus cases on the rise, the Catalan regional government decided to seek court approval to extend the use of the certificate to more locations, most notably: bars, restaurants, gyms and nursing homes.

“Infection rates are rising at a worrying level for the health and proper functioning of the health system,” Catalan government spokesman Patrícia Plaja said on Tuesday. “Catalonia needs an extra step to avoid overburdening the health system, without applying new restrictions.” The hospitality industry, which resigned prior to the plan’s announcement, wants the Covid passport to be mandatory in all sectors.

The court’s ruling on Thursday comes as the number of coronavirus infections in the region continues to rise. The 14-day incidence in Catalonia now stands at 170 cases per 100,000, compared to the national average of 149 cases. The number of consultations for coronavirus in primary health centers has increased by 35% in a week, with 9,000 people seeing a doctor every day. However, the reproduction rate, the so-called R-number – or how many other people an infected person passes the virus to – has fallen to 1.37.

In the hospitals in the region, 569 people have been admitted for Covid-19, while 128 are in intensive care. The positivity percentage, ie the percentage of tests that come back positive on the total, is 5%. In the past 24 hours, the region recorded seven deaths from Covid-19.

Infection rates are rising at a worrying level for health and the proper functioning of the health system

Patrícia Plaja, spokesman for the Catalan government

Meanwhile, in schools in Catalonia, more than 20,000 students are in preventive quarantine following the detection of coronavirus cases, according to the Catalan education department. This number has increased by 4,495 in the past two days, bringing the total to 21,121. A total of 623 teaching staff and school administrators are also in quarantine.

The upward trend in Catalonia reflects the broader increase in coronavirus infections across Spain. On Wednesday, the national incidence rate rose nearly 10 points to 149 cases per 100,000, according to Spain’s health ministry. Of Spain’s 17 regions, Navarra still has the highest incidence, with 428 cases per 100,000, followed by the Basque Country (332 cases) and Aragon (245 cases). By age group, the highest transmission rates are under 11 years of age, with 233 cases per 100,000. On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved a pediatric dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 11 to five. It is now up to the Spanish health authorities to decide whether the vaccine is recommended for this age group.

Spain’s health ministry reported 8,527 new cases on Wednesday and added 38 deaths to the official number, which now stands at 87,904. A total of 3,172 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, 168 more than Tuesday. Pressure on ICUs also mounted, with Covid-19 patients now occupying 6.13% of all beds – above the 5% low-risk threshold set in Spain’s new traffic light system.

With cases rising across the country, other Spanish regions – in charge of their health care systems, Covid-19 vaccination campaigns and coronavirus restrictions – have also taken steps to introduce the Covid certificate in bars and restaurants. Navarra, Aragon and La Rioja are awaiting the approval of the measure by the courts. In the Balearic Islands and Galicia, a Covid certificate is currently required at nighttime locations.

Galicia’s regional government also plans to seek court approval to extend the use of the Covid passport to the hospitality industry. Under the plan, which came about after an agreement with the industry, customers will have to show the certificate in restaurants, during all opening hours, and in bars and cafes from 9 p.m. Last week, the regional government also received support from the court to request hospital visitors’ certificates.

A terrace in Barcelona in May.
A terrace in Barcelona in May.Albert Garcia

Since the central government lifted the coronavirus alert – one of three emergency situations the government can implement – ​​earlier this year, Spanish regions have had to seek the approval of judges for any measure that infringes on fundamental rights, such as the Covid passport. . However, the lower courts often come to different decisions.

For example, on Monday, the Basque Supreme Court rejected the regional government’s request to introduce the Covid passport in restaurants with a capacity of more than 50 customers and entertainment venues such as nightclubs and karaoke bars. Although the request was supported by the prosecutor, the court ruled it was “unjustified”.

In Catalonia, the regional decision to expand the use of the Covid passport took the advice of the committee of experts, who argued that the measure would help combat the sense of normalcy among the population. In its non-binding report, the group of experts, made up of 34 figures from the healthcare sector, explained that extending the use of the Covid certificate would also minimize the risks of transmission in closed spaces and limit the spread of the virus. for the approaching long weekend – December 6 and 8 are national holidays in Spain.


Amazon has slashed prices to 45 percent on Oral-B electric toothbrushes — but only for Cyber ​​Monday




Amazon has slashed prices to 45 percent on Oral-B electric toothbrushes — but only for Cyber ​​Monday

We may receive commission for purchases made through links on this page. Prices and availability are subject to change.

The question is, which toothbrush do you choose?  (Photo: Amazon)

The question is, which toothbrush do you choose? (Photo: Amazon)

Keeping your teeth sparkling clean isn’t a one-time thing – it requires routine maintenance and regular careful brushing. And while you can use a regular, old manual toothbrush, many people find it easier to do a thorough cleaning with an electric brush.

Of course, those powerful devices cost money. Just for Cyber ​​Monday, Amazon has slashed prices Top Rated Oral-B Electric Toothbrushes and electric brush heads up to 45 percent! This is finally your chance to get on the electric toothbrush train at a significant discount.

Note: You can get your hands on a new one Oral-B Powered Toothbrush in two days with Amazon Prime. No member? Register here for all the entertainment and shopping benefits Amazon offers. Member now? Buy a new toothbrush in no time and have cleaner, white teeth as soon as possible.

Don’t miss these offers.

Whiter teeth, straight ahead!  (Photo: Amazon)

Whiter teeth, straight ahead! (Photo: Amazon)

The little gadget is so smart it’s an insult to call it a toothbrush. The Oral-B 8000 Electronic Electric Toothbrush with Rechargeable Battery is more like having a robot dentist living on your counter, except it’s not as scary as it sounds.

The device takes it upon itself to target the most important areas of your mouth, while tracking and correcting your brushing habits (for example, letting you know when you’re brushing too hard). It also sends real-time feedback to an app.

The replaceable brush heads oscillate, rotate and pulse in one of six personalized settings to remove up to 500 percent more plaque than a regular toothbrush – it even has pressure sensors that automatically slow down brushing speed and visually warn you to protect gums from over-brushing. Choose from four different colors: white, black, orchid, and rose gold. They are so beautiful that you can even use them as a Christmas present for your SO

“After years of using a Sonicare, I am more than thrilled to have switched to the Oral B 8000 with round brush heads,” a satisfied customer said. “This electric toothbrush system is so superior I can see and feel a significant difference. The round brush reaches all areas, so much easier to clean the back teeth and behind my lower lower teeth. I don’t feel any plaque anymore and teeth are definitely whiter The oscillation system is a significant improvement over sonic. My teeth feel like I’ve left the dental hygienist every day and this brush system and Crest 3D white make them look whiter.”

$95 $180 at Amazon

This toothbrush does almost everything.  (Photo: Amazon)

This toothbrush does almost everything. (Photo: Amazon)

Do you really want to splash on an electric toothbrush? The Oral-B iO Seriess 8 lis basically the Cadillac of electric toothbrushes, and does everything except brushing for you. This brush offers specialized pressure sensing that signals red when you’re brushing too hard and green when things are just right. It features a screen to motivate you while you brush and customize your brushing experience. A dentist-inspired round brush with twisted bristles reaches all parts of your mouth, while live coaching helps you clean just right. Choose a black, Violet or white theme — they’re all discounted!

“I can’t describe how [much] daily brushing improves this brush. Always clean and easy to operate. Worth the money,” a satisfied customer said.

$175 $280 at Amazon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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Early this week, weather conditions will ease with milder temperatures forecast




Early this week, weather conditions will ease with milder temperatures forecast

After a frigid, heady weekend, weather conditions across the country appear to ease from Monday.

Far from the storms and sleet that have swept the country in recent days, Met Éireann said temperatures should drop between 8 and 11 degrees, in line with the seasonal norm.

While there will be a somewhat cloudy morning interspersed with light rain, the start of the week will also give way to dry conditions and even some sunshine in parts, particularly in the south. The rain will later be limited to the west and northwest of the country.

“Tonight will be a milder night than recent times with cloudy or foggy conditions,” forecasters said of a welcome break in recent patterns.

Rain and drizzle will once again haunt Atlantic coastal areas Monday evening, but temperatures remain non-threatening, hovering between seven and nine degrees.

Relative calm will last until Tuesday, framed by mostly dry weather under cloudy, dull skies. With Éireann, however, some heavy rain is forecast in the west and northwest by midday, which will spread to the southeast in the afternoon.

Wednesday will probably be a bit more wintery. Showers coming from the north may turn into sleet, although winds will remain moderate. A cold night, frost will begin to form during long, clear spells and temperatures may drop below freezing again, although not as cold along the west coast.

But for anyone who thinks the country will get better conditions next weekend, there is no hope. On Friday there will be scattered showers, alternating with sunny periods.

It looks like it will turn chilly Friday afternoon and, according to forecasters, current indications show the weekend will “continue restlessly in a rainy north-westerly airflow, feeling quite chilly or chilly”.

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Edmonton business group calls for help for struggling Whyte Avenue retailers, restaurants




Edmonton business group calls for help for struggling Whyte Avenue retailers, restaurants

Gayle Martin, owner of The Wish List Gifts in Edmonton, AB. can be seen behind the counter of her store on November 26.The globe and mail

At The Wish List Gifts store in Edmonton’s historic Old Strathcona neighborhood, Gayle Martin is surrounded by new mugs, kitschy art, and other odd trinkets. But one thing is missing: customers.

Ms Martin’s business has always relied heavily on foot traffic, but the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many customers to stay at home for most of the past 20 months and prevented them from visiting the area.

“We lost our Christmas because they closed the restaurants and we rely a lot on restaurant traffic here in the evenings,” said Ms Martin.

Her company has received a rent reduction from the federal government and tax refunds from the City of Edmonton, allowing her to keep its doors open. But even with most of the public health restrictions now lifted in Alberta, things remain sluggish.

Ms Martin’s struggle is not unique as the pandemic kept people at home and shifted more of their groceries and food to online stores and delivery services, drying up foot traffic along the normally busy Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona. This left many local businesses unprepared for the sudden change, forcing 39 of them to either close their doors or relocate in 2020, according to the Old Strathcona Business Association, or OSBA.

It’s a problem the business association and municipal government are trying to solve as retailers and hospitality businesses recover, in part by enticing more local businesses to fill empty storefronts and improve critical infrastructure in Old Strathcona.

“Now more than ever, we need to focus on shopping locally and keeping the money in the local economy,” said Michael Janz, the city councilor whose ward includes Old Strathcona.

The OSBA recently launched a marketing campaign to attract new local and independent businesses to the area. In its recruiting package, it cites research data showing that 57 percent of city residents identified the area as their most favorite shopping area.

“We haven’t done this before, so this is a whole new kind of space for us on our initiative side,” said Cherie Klassen, OSBA executive director.

Ms Klassen said the association’s surveys showed that local respondents wanted more local and independent businesses in the area. The OSBA explains that focusing on those types of businesses, rather than chains, will keep more money in the local community.

The campaign is part of the association’s drive to look beyond the pandemic and toward a longer-term recovery. The group launched an economic recovery task force last year to help its members overcome the pandemic with help from municipal grants. It conducted surveys to assess the economic impact of the pandemic on the area and to develop a recovery strategy. It was transformed into a corporate recruiting committee in 2021 to drive the new strategy forward.

Last year, the OSBA and the city teamed up to offer business fee waivers, free patio permits, consultations, and online support and grants.

While the OSBA recorded 39 closed businesses in 2020, it also counted the same number of new businesses opened, leaving vacancy levels flat. During 2020 to October 2021, the OSBA recorded a total of 73 new businesses opening in the area while 62 were either closed or relocated, resulting in a positive profit of 11 new businesses.

Mr Janz, the councilor, said he is working on a series of proposals to improve the area and address remaining challenges. One of the biggest concerns he’s heard about is the lack of walkable spaces in the area. One of his proposals is to extend the sidewalk of the avenue and create more walkways that are both safe and accessible to all.

“If you go there during the certain peak times, they go [be] packed,” he said. “It would be nice if we could spread that.”

Jeff Nachtigall, co-owner of Sugared and Spiced Baked Goods Inc., said that while his store is still making money, it is struggling to pay off debt — which has been made more difficult by the pandemic.

“We can still go ahead, but we are unable to pay off the debt we took on to build the store,” he said.

He also wants the recently elected city council to be open to new and creative ideas that will enhance the city’s new Back Street project, which aims to repurpose alleyways for businesses and create vibrant spaces for people to gather. Mr Nachtigall said the alleyways program will create more walkable spaces for pedestrians.

“With our new council, I’m pretty optimistic because we’ve picked some good councilors who I think see things a certain way, finally,” he said.

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