In March 2020, the first case of coronavirus was discovered in the Grand Duchy. Almost overnight, the Covid-19 laws and the restrictions they imposed became part of our everyday life.
What can the pandemic teach us about the future?
The current Covid-19 law will expire on 31 March. By then, a new text will be ready, says MP Mars Di Bartolomeo from the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP). According to Bartolomeo, the requirement to wear masks in health and care facilities might be relaxed. The MP is sceptical regarding a general "pandemic law," but notes that Luxembourg has "a solid foundation" with the various Covid-19 laws enacted in recent years.
"We don't have one law that can regulate all situations, but we have to complete the law we have now, which partially expires, based on the experiences we've had and where we've seen that we still have a bit of catching up to do," Bartolomeo states.
One thing Luxembourg has learned over the last three years is to "always be prepared." According to the MP, "we need to be able to act quickly." Bartolomeo thinks that the government managed to do that, pointing out that "the feedback we got from third parties was not that bad, so we certainly didn't do everything wrong."
Dr Jean-Claude Schmit, the head of the National Health Directorate, stresses that "we have learned a lot and we have to keep it that way." The National Health Directorate, for instance, has appointed a person whose sole responsibility will be to prepare the country for similar crises.
Regarding the current situation, Dr Schmit says that there is less talk about Covid-19 in general, as the majority of the population is no longer at risk.
Symptoms have become milder, Dr Schmit explains, "it's like a little cold that goes away after a few days." Nevertheless, the head of the National Health Directorate adds that people who are more vulnerable may still experience more severe symptoms.
While the current variant spreads rapidly, patients are no longer as sick, according to Dr Schmit. As a result of past infections and vaccinations, the population has also built up a certain immunity, he explains. The virus, like the flu, is predicted to resurface every autumn and winter. At that point, the health authorities will likely recommend residents to get vaccinated again.