Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union.
The case numbers in Europe are more jaw-dropping than at any point during the pandemic. Germany, France and Italy alone reported almost 800,000 cases on Tuesday, showing that the restrictions that have dominated life on the continent for almost two years are having little effect on slowing the spread of the omicron variant. But with curbs looking porous or even futile, some European governments are pushing for a change of tack: treating the virus as an endemic, rather than a pandemic. With frustration among vaccinated people in the region growing about the slow return to normal life, the policy debate is now starting to move beyond the current wave — with a focus on how to prepare for a potential resurgence later this year, especially if it’s a harder-hitting strain.