French Prime Minister Jean Castex says work-from-home rules will be eased from early February.

France, Israel ease as Austria orders jab

Lawmakers in Austria’s lower house of parliament voted 137 to 33 to approve the mandate, which will apply to all residents of Austria aged 18 and over from February 1.

The bill must now pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen, steps which will be largely formalities.

Exempted from the mandate are pregnant women, individuals who for medical reasons can not be vaccinated and people who have recovered from a coronavirus infection in the past six months.

Israel will ditch mandatory quarantine for children exposed to COVID-19 carriers, the government said on Thursday, citing a need to relieve parents and schools as case numbers spiral due to the fast-spreading but low-morbidity Omicron variant.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that as of January 27, children will instead be required to take twice-weekly home antigen tests for the virus and, if they prove positive or feel unwell, absent themselves from school until they recover.

“Children are returning to continuity in schooling,” he said during a televised address with his health and education ministers, adding that medical experts had determined that the young were on sufficiently “safe ground” to warrant the review.

The home kits will be supplied free of charge, he said.

Read the article in The Canberra Times.