France and Germany became the latest two countries to announce a second lockdown as Europe struggles to control the latest wave of coronavirus.
French President Emmanuel Macron He told his citizens on Wednesday that Covid-19 “Overwhelmed” FranceMeanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her national speech that Germany should act now “to avoid a severe national health emergency.”
In the past seven days, the European Union, Britain, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland have recorded 1.1 million cases of the virus, according to European Commission President Ursula von der LeyenWho warned that the numbers will rise “quickly.”
She told reporters in Brussels that this could mean that “this Christmas will be a different birthday” for a continent “in the depth of the second wave.”
What are the restrictions in France?
Starting Friday through December 1, people start on France They are only allowed to leave their homes to buy basic goods for medical reasons and to exercise for an hour a day.
Anyone who wants to leave the house will be required to fill out a “certificate” – a form that was also required to leave the home during the first lockdown.
Le Parisien newspaper says the French prime minister’s office has confirmed that people will be allowed to go out up to a kilometer from their homes.
It also means that all non-essential businesses will be forced to close, including restaurants, bars and many stores.
Interregional travel bans will be imposed, while national borders with provinces outside the Schengen area will be closed.
Telework has been advised where possible, and universities are to move their teaching schedules online.
Unlike the first closure, schools and nurseries will remain open. Home care visits will also be permitted.
Mrs. Merkel The German restrictions were revealed to be a “shutdown light”, starting on November 2 and continuing for four weeks.
Under the rules, pubs and bars will be closed, while restaurants will remain open only for fast food.
Shops will remain open with space restrictions – meaning a maximum of one person will be allowed per 10 square meters of store floor.
Gyms, cinemas and theaters will be closed, and hotels will be closed to tourists.
Indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people and cannot contain more than 2 families.
Like France, schools, nurseries and daycare centers will remain open – and care homes will be able to receive visitors.
How bad is the situation in France?
36,437 news cases of COVID-19 were recorded in France on Wednesday, up from 33,417 the previous day.
Macron noted that the number is likely to be between 40,000 and 50,000 “new identified pollution every day.”
This also comes after another 520 deaths on Tuesday, including 288 deaths in hospital in 24 hours and 235 in nursing homes over the previous four days. These are the highest rises since May.
More than half of the intensive care units in France are already filled with COVID-19 patients.
What about Germany?
Another 14,964 infections were reported on Wednesday, bringing the total to 449,276, according to the country’s disease control agency.
Germany may appear to have seen a steady rise in cases compared to its European neighbors, however Mrs. Merkel He warned that intensive care capacity could be compromised.
She said that the number of people in intensive care beds has doubled in the past ten days alone, and will reach their capacity if the virus continues to spread at its current rate.
Is it the same for Europe more broadly?
In Italy, a record number of 24,991 cases were reported on Wednesday, which came as thousands protested against the reimposed lockdown measures.
The national government ordered the closure of restaurants, bars, gyms and cinemas from 6 pm on Monday, while a night curfew continues in the worst-affected cities.
This led to clashes in several parts of the country as police dispersed anti-lockdown protesters with tear gas in Milan, and hurled petrol bombs in Turin.
Huge crowds also gathered in Naples.
“This time we have aggression,” von der Leyen said this week, acknowledging the virus and the mental limitations it brought about.
She pointed out that “Corona fatigue” came within “increasing weariness when it comes to precautionary measures,” but added that “now is not the time to relax.”