"Friends no longer invite you to their private dinners."

Juan Esteban Mariño, a healthy 29-year-old, has been part of the rare cohort in Spain who have resisted health authorities’ strong recommendations to get their vaccine shots. His position only changed when he planned an end-of-the-year holiday in Portugal, where authorities are cracking down on unvaccinated visitors as they confront a surge of infections and try to limit the spread of the omicron variant, AP reports.

“I needed to get the jab to leave the country and return without any inconveniences,” Mariño said Wednesday at a large vaccination center in Madrid as he pressed sterile gauze against his left arm and rolled down his sleeve.

“With the new variant and restrictions complicating life, getting the vaccine has become unavoidable,” he added.

Long lines for getting vaccines have returned to Portugal and Spain, two neighboring European Union nations that, despite having inoculation figures that are the envy of the world, are stepping up efforts to close the gap on the few residents still unvaccinated. Both nations have reported cases of the omicron variant.

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