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European Countries Enter Second Lockdown

European Countries Enter Second Lockdown
Gatherings of more than six banned in many European countries, Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Spain, Italy, parts of Germany and France impose new restrictions as COVID-19 cases spike

OT Staff
November 02 , 2020
02 Min Read

Earlier this summer much of Europe had reported a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases thus enabling countries like Spain, France and Italy to reopen. But as cases are once again on the rise in Europe, several countries have entered another lockdown phase, and re-implemented restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Italy was the latest country to announce such restrictions. Until November 24, bars and restaurants will now close by 6 pm; and movie theaters, public pools and gyms will close completely. The decree also encourages people to stay home, and to limit contacts, even with their immediate family, though no mandatory nationwide curfew has been put in place. 

A reported 1,208 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care throughout Italy when the new lockdown began, a number higher than on March 9 when the first lockdown was announced.

France entered a new lockdown on Friday this week as the resurgent cases increasingly forced other countries to consider following suit, with Europe passing 10 million total infections.

The lockdown in France requires people to stay in their homes except to obtain essential goods or services, or exercise for up to one hour each day. French residents will not be able to leave their homes to work unless their employer deems it necessary. Schools, however, will remain open.

A new state of emergency has been imposed in Spain too, along with a national nightly curfew from 11 pm to 6 am, and gatherings of over six people have been banned. Local authorities have been given free rein to restrict travel between regions. More than one million cases have been reported in Spain, with 34,752 reported deaths. New cases have increased by more than 50 percent over the past two weeks, bypassing daily case counts from April.

Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered bars, restaurants, and theaters to shut down from November 2 until (at least) November 30 as the country tries to contain rising case numbers. Germany is not not on total lockdown however, as shops will be allowed to stay open with restrictions in place and schools will remain open.

Belgium, which currently has the second-highest infection rate in Europe after the Czech Republic, is also experiencing a surge of cases forcing those who had returned to offices to work from home once again. Belgian hospitals have also suspended non-urgent surgeries, as hospital occupancy increased by 87 percent in the past week. The Czech Republic, which recorded over 12,000 new cases on Saturday, has imposed a full lockdown and closed its borders to travellers. 

 


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