A third wave of coronavirus infections is now raging across Europe, with the British variant (B117) dominating new infections. The World Health Organization said the number of cases on the continent had risen on average by 12% in a week, but in some countries the rise has been much larger.

The Guardian’s Europe correspondent, Jon Henley, tells Anushka Asthana that the surge of new cases comes amid a growing anger at the slow pace of vaccinations across the EU. Much of this stems from supply issues born out of a struggle to agree contracts early enough and now compounded by a large shortfall in doses from AstraZeneca.

That issue looks likely to dominate a meeting between EU leaders today in which new restrictions will be discussed on exports of vaccines including large quantities bound for the UK.

Merkel Gives Statement Following Reversal Of Easter Lockdown Decision<br>BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 24: German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to give a statement to the media to announce a reversal of the recently planned hard lockdown for Easter on March 24, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel and leaders of Germany's 16 states had recently agreed to the hardest lockdown to date for the Easter period of April 1 through April 5 in an effort to stem the spread of the B117 coronavirus variant. COVID-19 infection rates are currently rising strongly in Germany. (Photo by Henning Schacht - Pool/Getty Images)

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