Jaxen cited the new travel rules put in place by the European Union. According to the Daily Mail, people who contracted COVID-19 and subsequently recovered in the last 180 days will be allowed to enter without additional testing. Those who received their second COVID-19 vaccine dose or booster dose within 270 days will also be allowed to travel within the EU region.
Bigtree lauded the new EU rules that recognized natural immunity as valid. "Natural immunity is finally being recognized. We have worked so hard to at least make that point. There's no vaccine that has ever been as effective as a natural infection that's been cleared. You now have stronger immunity – more robust [and] longer-lasting. They're starting to admit it," he told Jaxen. (Related: EU pushes for extending vaccine passports as many countries start relaxing restrictions.)
Jaxen also mentioned other countries eschewing COVID-19 restrictions. He pointed to Nordic countries like Denmark, Norway and Finland, which ended mandates despite the rise of omicron infections. "The HighWire" co-host also cited Ireland's move to drop COVID-19 restrictions amid an omicron-fueled case surge there.
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin announced the decision in a Jan. 21 televised address, according to Reuters. "I have stood here and spoken to you on some very dark days. But today is a good day, [as we] have weathered the omicron storm," he said. Martin attributed the positive turn of events to an intensified booster vaccination campaign, which he claims to have "utterly transformed" the situation in Ireland.
An 8 p.m. curfew for restaurants and bars, vaccine passport mandates and capacity limits for indoor and outdoor venues were among the restrictions scrapped by Ireland. Mask mandates on public transport and inside shops are still in place until the end of February, the prime minister clarified.
Jaxen also noted France's gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, an event he dubbed as the country's leaders "finally releasing their grip." A Bloomberg report confirmed this update, adding that the relaxation of measures would come as COVID-19 cases dwindle.
"We're going to respect the timetable we presented to the French people by lifting the restrictions in two stages," French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said during a Feb. 1 interview with the radio station France Info.
Under the first phase, which began on Feb. 2, the French government eased outdoor mask mandates, rules on working from home (WFH) and capacity limits on major events. Large-capacity venues such as stadiums and arenas were permitted to operate at full capacity and WFH setups were no longer required.
The second phase to commence Feb. 16 will see more COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed. Starting on that date, people will be allowed to eat and drink in stadiums, cinemas and on public transportation. The nightclubs will be allowed to reopen, and people will be allowed to drink while standing in bars.
"Why is this important? Because the people of France have protested for 29 consecutive weeks. They obviously won't be stopping at this point until all restrictions are released [and] the vaccine passport is over with," said Jaxen. He added that it would be "very interesting" to see how French President Emmanuel Macron would navigate himself out of this jam.
Bigtree, on the other hand, simply wants Macron out – along with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other pro-lockdown politicians.
"I hope all of these people disappear. I don't care that you finally came to your senses. You destroyed your country, you destroyed the economies of your nation and [that of] the world. These people need to be just walked off and kept away from politics for the rest of their lives and written in the history books as the useful idiots that they proved to be."
Watch Jeffery Jaxen and Del Bigtree talk about European countries dropping COVID-19 measures on "The HighWire."
This video is from The HighWire with Del Bigtree channel on Brighteon.com.
Pandemic.news has more about countries rescinding COVID-19 measures.