The Omicron variant of coronavirus is spreading. Reports of new cases in England, Scotland, Austria and Belgium have prompted governments to take swift action. In England, mandatory masks have been reintroduced in shops and on public transport and booster jabs will now be offered to all adults over the age of 18.
In Austria, around 1.3 million booster jabs have been administered (see graph), moving it ahead of Israel, which became the first country in the world to offer boosters in August. France and Italy have announced that they will make booster jabs available to all adults five months after their second dose. Spain, however, is limiting booster jabs to the over-60s.[See also: International coronavirus vaccine tracker: how many people have been vaccinated?]