by Nicholas Harris
Monday, 17
January 2022
Explainer
07:00

Which countries have come down hardest on anti-vaxxers?

We try to make sense of a mass of restrictions
by Nicholas Harris
Credit: Getty

The Canadian province of Quebec announced last week that it will impose a health tax on the 12.8% of its citizens that remain unvaccinated. Though the size of the tax is as yet unannounced, the province’s premier insists it will be ‘significant’, and it will add to existing requirements to show a vaccine pass to access to government cannabis and alcohol shops. We took a look at restrictions elsewhere, ranking countries roughly by their level of anti-vax stringency, from most to least stringent:

1. China 🇨🇳

This has to be Number One — one of the few countries that refuses to let go of its ‘Zero Covid’ dream. Parts of China have required vaccination for access to public transport, schools, nursing homes and hospitals since last summer. There are further reports from certain provinces that unvaccinated people have faced the removal of welfare support and police harassment, and in Nanchang the authorities will pay people to report on their unvaccinated neighbours. There are repeated draconian lockdowns for entire cities on the basis of tiny numbers of cases.

2. Austria 🇦🇹

In November Austria placed two million people who had not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in lockdown for ten days. Anyone who violated the lockdown for the unvaccinated was fined €500. Over Christmas unvaccinated Austrians were allowed to gather in groups of no more than ten, while the vaccinated were allowed gatherings of up to 25. A lockdown for the unvaccinated remains in place, and proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 is required for access to non-essential businesses and services. The Austrian government is working on a draft law to make vaccinations compulsory from February 1st. 

3. Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦

Since August last year, vaccination has been compulsory for all private and public sector workers, or for access to government buildings, shops or educational institutions. Saudis are also not allowed to travel abroad without the jab. 

4. Italy 🇮🇹

Credit: Getty

On October 15th Italy  became the first country in Europe to introduce a Covid passport, or ‘green pass’. Without proof of vaccination, or a negative test, or proof recovery from Covid-19, Italian citizens were unable to access public spaces, and government or private workplaces. This month the rules were tightened further.

The introduction of the ‘super green pass’ means that anyone over the age of 12 will no longer be able to use public transport, go to the gym, dine in a restaurant, drink in a bar, or enter a hotel or cinema unless they’re vaccinated or have recovered from Covid.

5. Fiji 🇫🇯

In July 2021, Fiji’s Prime Minister announced that all public and private-sector workers needed at least one vaccination or face unemployment, telling his people in a televised address, “no jabs, no job”. 

6. Indonesia 🇮🇩

Covid vaccines have been compulsory across Indonesia since February 2021. The mandate is enforced through the removal of social aid and a fine of five million rupiah (£270). 

7. Canada 🇨🇦

From last November, unvaccinated Canadians over the age of 12 were unable to board a plane or passenger train. In December Canada’s government announced that employees in all federally regulated workplaces would be required to take the vaccine. The new regulations are expected to come into force in early 2022. Last week Quebec announced plans to impose a “health tax” on residents who refused to get a vaccination for non-medical reasons. 

8. Malta 🇲🇹

From next week, a vaccine pass will be required to access most public venues including bars, restaurants and cinemas. Double vaccination is only valid for three months however, while a booster tops a pass up to nine months.

9. Greece 🇫🇮

From July, only vaccinated customers were banned from indoor bars, restaurants, cinemas and theatres. On November the 30th, the Prime Minister announced that vaccination will become compulsory for over-60s, enforced by a 100€ fine for every month an individual remains un-jabbed.  

10. Singapore 🇸🇬 

From the 8th of December, unvaccinated people who catch Covid have to pay for their own medical bills. 

11. France 🇫🇷

From August, French people have required a health pass (from either vaccination or a recent negative test) to access restaurants, cafés, cinemas or trains. From the middle of January, the government plans to institute a vaccine passport for access to these public venues. 

12. Australia 🇦🇺

Credit: Getty

Restrictions vary across regions, but vaccine passports are generally required for restaurants, bars and cinemas. Restrictions are set to increase however, the Western Australian premier this month announcing that vaccine passports will be required for almost all public and private buildings, including hospitals, care homes, play centres and gyms. 

13. Germany 🇩🇪

Since December, Germans have required either a vaccine passport or proof of recent recovery from infection to go to bars and restaurants. There are discussions of extending this to a complete vaccine mandate in the next few months. 

14. Spain 🇪🇸

The rules vary across Spanish regions, with some requiring Covid passports for access to public spaces indefinitely, some requiring them until January 15th, and some having no additional restrictions. 

15. United States 🇺🇸

In September, the US announced companies employing more than 100 people had to ensure that they’re fully vaccinated or conduct weekly tests. This was rejected by the Supreme Court on the 14th January, who indicated that while such a mandate may be legal for healthcare workers, it was not when so broadly applied. 

16. Netherlands 🇳🇱

Since September, anyone over the age of 13 has been required to show proof of double-vaccination, recent infection or a negative test to enter public venues including restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cinemas and museums. 

17. Sweden 🇸🇪

Since November, Sweden has enforced vaccine passes (with testing or recent infection not accepted) for public gatherings or events of over 100 people. Restaurants, bars, cinemas, museums and so forth can enforce vaccine passes but it is not a legal requirement. Health officials are however advising businesses to make greater use of the passes as cases increase. 

18. United Kingdom 🇬🇧

At present, vaccination is only compulsory for social care and NHS workers, who have until April 2022 to get their jab. Otherwise, Covid passes are required for some indoor events and larger venues, but these are also available to those who have tested negative within 48 hours. 

19. Finland 🇫🇮

Finland’s government has so far only made vaccines mandatory for health and care workers. 

20. Brazil 🇧🇷

Brazil currently has limited coronavirus rules of any kind, with no national mask policy, easily-accessed home testing or restrictions on movement. Its president, Jair Bolsonaro, himself unjabbed, has repeatedly cast doubt on the efficacy of vaccines, instead calling the Omicron variant the ‘vaccine virus.’

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Art C
Art C
8 months ago

So there was a raison de etre behind the lockdowns and absurd restrictions after all. “The vaccine” is the way out. And it’s not negotiable. Know this: “fully vaccinated” is in the process of being codified to mean only those who have received the latest “booster”, currently projected to be 4 times a year (but it “could be higher”). Within 2 years we have been transformed from free citizens to pliant lackeys of the state who will soon have to report in for a status update every 3 months in order to retain our privileges, like prisoners on parole.

Jem Barnett
Jem Barnett
8 months ago
Reply to  Art C
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3WUv5SV5Hg

I thoroughly recommend giving this presentation by German investigative journalist Paul Schreyer a watch… If you can stick with it to the end (it’s about 1hr long), all the coordinated government behaviour makes a lot more sense.

Paul K
Paul K
8 months ago

How about Ireland, the UK’s closest neighbour? Vaccine passports in place since the summer with no debate or objection: vaccination required to access pubs, clubs, gyms, cafes, restaurants. Result: higher infection rate than ever.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul K

Yes. There are so many data points to refute the obvious nonsense of these policies, that many proponents have given up even trying to justify them on public health grounds.
It’s simply a statement of belief in ‘the system’.

Hersch Schneider
Hersch Schneider
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul K

I’ve been disgusted by the Irish lately- their eager, proud subservience to the EU project. Their sneering at the British over Brexit and the wish for self-determination.
And now their utterly meek, cowardly compliance and acceptance of hard restrictions over a virus.
They’re now tied with the Aussies for the top title of ‘formerly freedom-loving peoples now reduced to utter weaklings’.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago

Yes, I’m disheartened by this too. This period in history has taught me that people actually like being told what to do and think.

Rob D
Rob D
8 months ago

Not everyone who has not had the jab is an anti-vaxxer…

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
8 months ago

So, I’m guessing the permanent parasite caste which rules through the secondary and “advisory” bodies and the civil services of the Western nations don’t bother familiarising themselves with the concept of natural rights these days.

Sasha T.
Sasha T.
8 months ago

As Rob points out, unvaccinated does NOT = anti-vaxxer. Wrong title for the piece.

Sally Owen
Sally Owen
8 months ago

Unvaccinated and Anti-vaxxer are not the same. Many unvaccinated are not anti vaccination generally and are just opposed to this coronavirus’vaccine’ ( not really a vaccine and not fully tested at that!)Anti-vaxxer is a derogatory term coined by main stream media and unhelpful as a heading to this article…

Zirrus VanDevere
Zirrus VanDevere
8 months ago
Reply to  Sally Owen

Exactly. It is an obvious ruse, and it’s disgusting. As Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying say in the US, “Not this vaccine, not this virus, and not this administration”, or something of that sort. They are more vaccinated than most due to their exotic travel in the venture of evolutionary biology, but are routinely called anti-vaxxers. You know, when I read Orwell’s 1984 over 40 years ago, I saw it as a warning, never imagining that others would read it and see it as a playbook.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago

I will link a few EXCELLENT, and absolutely TOP scientists on how the Covid-19 vaccine is killing more than saving and the whole response is pure corruption (and mass Formation) – have a watch, they are fascinating.

1) dr Peter McCullough from today – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcgxpJyammc his most famous (and better) below

McCullough has a wonderful one with Jo Rogan on Odysee, viewed on many outlets 30 million times, https://odysee.com/@jackspirko:a/rogan-mccullough:6

2) Dr Malone, the guy who holds the patent for mRNA in nano lipid particles, a life of biochemistry at vaccine https://odysee.com/@BannedYouTubeVideos:4/JOE-ROGAN-AND-DR-ROBERT-MALONE:c 3 hours, get the story – fun to watch

3) Bobby Kennedy Jr ( Son of the Kennedy killed, nephew of the President, famous Eco lawyer, vaccine lawyer, writer of the Number 1 Best Seller – “The Real Anthony Fauci” exposing the entire Vaccine as a crime, corruption, and horrible harmful, and Fauci a criminal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNjr4WEY1ao

JAN 23 The Washington DC protest where all the above speak, with Bret Weinstein – expect protests all over the world. Peaceful ones. Watch it live….

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
8 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I watched the talk between Peter McCullough and Joe Rogan a couple of days ago, which was very interesting. Although what I would like to know is, why he and his children are vaccinated. He claimed to have had issues with the potential side effects pretty much from the beginning.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
8 months ago

As a child I remember being told keep quiet about my mother buying eggs from a local farmer in the early 1950s. The egg ration was not abolished until July 1954 getting on for 10 years after the war. Whitehall will always continue to abuse its powers long after any emergency has passed.
I am triple vaccinated because at my age it might supply some slight protection against severe covid symptoms but I know from the experience of a friend that it does not prevent hospitalisation. Most importantly it does not prevent you catching and passing on the virus.
If the vaccines prevented covid being passed on there might be some point to requiring those coming in contact with the elderly being vaccinated but it does not. It merely encourages complacency regarding sensible preventative measures.

Andrea X
Andrea X
8 months ago

What is the point of No. 20?

David George
David George
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Exactly, there’s “no jab no Job” New Zealand not even on the list.

Zirrus VanDevere
Zirrus VanDevere
8 months ago
Reply to  David George

Missing Ireland was sloppy as well. And things are very different in various states in the US, so mentioning only federal implications seems inadequate. The title made me think this was going to be a critical article.

James Watson
James Watson
8 months ago
Reply to  David George

On Monday I had a routine but necessary medical appointment. I was required to have had the two jabs (in New Zealand you can have whatever jab you want so long as it’s Pfizer) or a negative covid test within the previous 48 hours. However, on Saturday.morning the local swabmaster informed me that the processing of a test might well take 48 hours. The solution was a rapid antigen test, not available in my city at the weekend and supposedly only to be given to those who could produce evidence they needed one for travel. I was able to get such a test shortly before my appointment on Monday, thanks to an understanding chemist, but I suspect a lot of people just wouldn’t have gone to the appointment, with possibly serious consequences.

anna m
anna m
8 months ago
Reply to  James Watson

The cardiologist tried (but failed – as I would not back down) to cancel my little girls heart appointment (she has 2 types of heart disease) because I am not jabbed. NZ has made it pretty damn difficult.

James Watson
James Watson
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrea X

A very good, albeit largely rhetorical, question. The same phenomenon appears when the subject of the countries with the highest death rates comes up. Brazil is almost invariably mentioned (complete with an eye-rolling reference to Bolsonaro), but Peru, with by far the worst death rate in the world, seldom appears. We might note that Peru has now and for some time has had left-wing governments.
At one stage in 2020 male and female Peruvians were not allowed out at the same times at night. Even though that’s unlikely to have survived long (at least in practice) and it was pre-‘vaccine’, I would have thought it worth a mention.

patrick macaskie
patrick macaskie
8 months ago

Most of the top 10 have some form! Canada is keeping very interesting company.

Johanna Barry
Johanna Barry
8 months ago

Its extraordinary, how we bend over backwards in all our writings and speech to talk of people as people first and not identified with their condition (person with hearing impairment (not deaf), person living with HIV (not HIV patient). Clinicial guidelines underline the importance of respecting the wishes of the patient. But covid? all bets are off. You exercise your right to refuse a drug that comes with risk and offers very little, and you forthwith lose your status as a human. You are an ‘anti-vaxxer’ and every tinpot dictator can indulge in whatever mindless brutality they can think of and all with the support of his/her country. It feels like an oasis of positive sanity in England at the moment. Perhaps we can be grateful for partygate and Bojo’s many frailties – otherwise I am sure SAGE would have won the day with the nonsense.

James Joyce
James Joyce
8 months ago
Reply to  Johanna Barry

Two small points: your health status, must to some extent, be revealed to random strangers, the guy serving drinks, the lady who cuts your hair, the Corona police at the mall. In the US, entire rain forests were decimated to print out the paper for HIPPA–something like Health Insurance Privacy Protection Act, which was supposed to keep your medical information private. It was designed, in large part, to stop the chemist from broadcasting over the PA to the entire store–“Trevor Smith, Trevor Smith, your HIV medicine is ready….” This is what happens when common sense is eliminated from the equation.
You exercise your right to refuse a drug….
What right are you talking about? It seems that we have NO rights, but only obligations to bow down, do as were are told, and not question.
Other than these small points, an excellent comment.
Ahh,,, a third small point….your reference to SAGE. I’m trying to replace SAGE with my name for them: Churlish Unhinged Negative Twins, which, I submit with the greatest respect, more accurately captures the essence of who these people are.

Rickard Gardell
Rickard Gardell
8 months ago

Yesterday’s war. Vaccine doesn’t protect against Omicron and vaxed people spread it as well. All these policies are based on historic variants where vaccine provided a meaningful protection for 2-4 months. In addition, Omicron is so mild that it doesn’t require special attention as it is less dangerous than seasonal flu. My points above are so obvious that the only explanation for all these draconian policies is……politics. There are votes in it.

Bella OConnell
Bella OConnell
8 months ago

These comments are all very well, but we need a way back. Solutions on a post card please. We need to act together before it’s too late. The deporting of the world’s number one tennis player from Australia is a massive blow. How do we stop this madness?

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
8 months ago

I would have more confidence in this list only if all the countries of the world were included and the ranking method shared along with the inputs.

anna m
anna m
8 months ago

How did NZ not make the cut?
The unvaccinated are banned from everything. Unjabbed children 12 and over can no longer join a sports team, do most out-of-school activities, go to the movies, or visit a cafe. The govtmt are in the process of extending this to 5 year olds. Very few medical practices will see unvaccinated patients (beyond a phone consult), even if they have a serious issue. Unjabbed can’t go to Council-owned spaces, hospitality venues, gyms, hairdressers, or into many retail stores. Most of us have to be jabbed to keep our job. Our Prime Minister announced that she was created a two-tier society in which the unvaccinated would be bottom tier. She has managed to do this without mandating much at all – but has made it next to impossible for businesses to operate and survive unless they put in place their own mandates – thus creating an illusion of choice. But we all know, it is an illusion.

Harry Child
Harry Child
8 months ago

So it seems that United Kingdom has had a proportional response to Covid as compared to other countries. Where are the usual anti – vaxers comments about how awful the denial of civil liberties that has taken place in the UK?

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
8 months ago
Reply to  Harry Child

That’s how you think civil liberties work?

Art C
Art C
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

He’s a troll. Not worth responding

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago
Reply to  Art C

A ‘troll’ isn’t just anyone with a different view! This site is supposed to be UnHerd, much as some people seem to want to turn it into Alt- Right conspiracy theory central.

There is now a very big difference between the UK, and specific ally England over many countries, for which I am at least somewhat grateful to the Tories, or many of them, who have at least kept alternative perspectives and questions about the enormous cost in many aspects of legal covid restrictions.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
8 months ago
Reply to  Harry Child

Nowhere has had a proportionate response to Covid.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Florida? Sweden? I wish people would not always overstate their case in such an absolutist manner; things are indeed pretty bad world wide and unfortunately China seemed to be a model that some members of the medical and scientific establishment rather admired. But we ought to be a bit more forensic in our criticism.

Of course some critics are out and out covid deniers, saying that covid is no worse than the common cold (Omicron may well be going that way, but earlier variants certainly were not). The worst aspect of this in my view, is that it makes it easy to paint all critics of lockdown policies etc as cranks.

Last edited 8 months ago by Andrew Fisher