World Lockdowns return as Europe confronts second wave

09:20  29 october  2020
09:20  29 october  2020 Source:   bbc.com

Europe’s new Covid-19 wave, explained

  Europe’s new Covid-19 wave, explained Some countries with the fastest-spiraling outbreaks may soon have to go back into lockdown.There are curfews across England and France, limits on drinking in the Czech Republic and Belgium, and stricter mask requirements in Italy and Switzerland.

Two of Europe 's biggest economies are reinstating some form of national lockdown , as the continent confronts a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths. President Emmanuel Macron said the country risked being "overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first".

Read More: New Europe Lockdowns Raise Prospect of ECB Stimulus Surprise. National border closures and curbs on the export of medical gear within the EU during the spring galvanized the Brussels-based commission, the bloc’s executive arm, into actions meant to create a more coherent

Two of Europe's biggest economies are reinstating some form of national lockdown, as the continent confronts a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths.

a group of people standing on a sidewalk: President Macron warned that the second wave © Reuters President Macron warned that the second wave "no doubt will be harder than the first"

From Friday people in France will only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons.

President Emmanuel Macron said the country risked being "overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first".

Germany, meanwhile, is imposing a "soft" national lockdown.

The measures are less severe than in France, but they include the closure of restaurants, bars, gyms and theatres, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

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“A second wave of COVID-19 across Europe is due primarily to the relaxation of these lockdown measures How Europe is tackling the second wave . In response to this second COVID-19 surge, many European countries and cities are considering another round of quarantines and lockdowns .

Europe battles second coronavirus wave . Europe battles second coronavirus wave 02:15. London — More European countries have decided to reimpose nationwide lockdown measures to counter fast-rising coronavirus infection rates. "If we do all of this, we can quickly return to a more normal life."

  • Covid deaths in Europe rise sharply
  • Tracking the pandemic: Where has been hit hardest?

Infections are rising sharply across Europe, including the UK which on Wednesday announced 310 new deaths and 24,701 new cases.

In England, a new study shows almost 100,000 people are catching the virus every day, putting pressure on the government to change policy from a regional approach.

In France, Covid daily deaths are at the highest level since April. On Wednesday, 36,437 new cases and 244 deaths were confirmed.

News of the fresh restrictions being introduced in the European Union's biggest economies led to sharp falls in the financial markets on Wednesday.

"We are deep in the second wave," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. "I think that this year's Christmas will be a different Christmas."

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As COVID-19 surges across much of Europe , many countries have taken action by instituting lockdowns or strict curfews while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire for not doing enough.

Governments want to avoid returning to the full-blown lockdowns of early 2020, including widespread business closures and stay-at-home orders, which broke the pandemic’s first wave WSJ’s Margherita Stancati and Bojan Pancevski explain how sentiments towards mask wearing have changed in Europe .

How did Europe get here?

The first wave of the virus earlier this year hit parts of Europe incredibly hard, while other areas were able to escape the worst.

Italy, Spain, France and the UK were among the worst-hit nations, with all imposing strict national lockdowns that over time brought cases, hospital admissions and deaths down to a very low level but ravaged economies.

Restrictions started to be lifted in the early summer, with non-essential shops, bars and restaurants reopening, and travel restarting. In August, cases began to rise again too, with a major acceleration in recent weeks that has alarmed policymakers.

chart, line chart © BBC

Countries that were not hit badly by the first wave - such as the Czech Republic and Poland - have not been spared this time, with experts warning of alarming infection rates across much of the continent.

What are France and Germany doing?

In a televised address on Wednesday, Mr Macron said that under the new rules, people would need to fill in a form to justify leaving their homes, as had been required in the initial lockdown in March. Social gatherings are banned.

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The surge of coronavirus cases across Europe in recent days has brought renewed calls for a second lockdown to curb the spread of the disease before it's too late. “We are deep in the second wave ,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels.

After successfully tamping down the first surge of infection and death, Europe is now in the middle of a second How it all went wrong (again) in Europe as second wave grips continent. "I don't want to go into second national lockdown . The only way we can do that is if people follow the guidance."

But he made clear that public services and factories would remain open, adding that the economy "must not stop or collapse".

"Like all our neighbours, we are submerged by the sudden acceleration of the virus," said Mr Macron.

a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant: French bars and restaurants will have to close their doors © Getty Images French bars and restaurants will have to close their doors

Meanwhile in Germany, Chancellor Merkel said her country had to "act now" and called for a "major national effort" to fight the spread of coronavirus.

While Germany has a lower infection rate than many other parts of Europe, the speed with which the virus has been spreading in recent weeks has alarmed Berlin.

"Our health system can still cope with this challenge today, but at this speed of infection it will reach the limits of its capacity within weeks," Mrs Merkel said.

A partial lockdown will now begin in Germany on 2 November and last until 30 November under terms agreed by Mrs Merkel and the 16 state premiers.

Bars and restaurants will close except for takeaway, but schools and kindergartens will remain open. Social contacts will be limited to two households with a maximum of 10 people and tourism will be halted.

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Europe ’s second wave of Covid-19 is certainly different — and, so far, less alarming — than the first. There is plenty that politicians and the general public can do to avoid a return to the most draconian measures of March, April and May. Localized lockdowns have been effective in particular towns or

"This second wave of virus is a concern for investors but I think the key difference is that unlike last time in Countries are very unlikely to impose another full lockdown even though there's a resurgence of new That was when the pace of virus cases started to intensify in the U.S. and Europe , after first

In terms of economic help, smaller companies and the self-employed badly hit by the lockdown will be reimbursed with up to 75% of their November 2019 takings.

What's the situation elsewhere in Europe?

Although cases are rising across Europe, not all countries are opting for national lockdowns.

Italy, which was the European epicentre at the start of the first wave of the virus, earlier announced new restrictions from Monday, 26 October, which will be in place for a month.

All bars and restaurants across the country have to close by 18:00, although they can provide takeaways later. Gyms, swimming polls, theatres and cinemas have to close, but museums can remain open. Gatherings for weddings, baptisms and funerals are banned,

Schools and workplaces are not closing - but many secondary schools will switch to distance learning.

  • How the Czech Covid response went wrong

Spain began its nationwide curfew on 25 October, after the government declared a new state of emergency. People in all regions, with the exception of Canary Islands, have to stay at home between 23:00 and 06:00.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the Czech Republic has the worst infection rate in the continent at 1,448 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days. It has imposed a partial lockdown.

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The Republic of Ireland went into a second national lockdown earlier this month for a six-week period.

How about the UK?

Cases, deaths and hospital admissions are all rising fast in the UK - however, the government has stated it is against imposing another nationwide lockdown on England.

Instead, earlier this month, officials announced a new Covid tier system, which enables regions to go into localised lockdowns.

A number of areas, including Liverpool, are in the strictest category, tier three.

However Wales has begun a 17-day "circuit breaker" lockdown, with all non-essential retailers in the nation ordered to close and people only allowed to leave home for certain reasons.

The UK nations' devolved administrations have the right to set their own policies around Covid restrictions.

a drawing of a face © BBC
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  Lockdowns return as Europe confronts second wave © BBC

‘Critical moment’ as Europe, N Africa see COVID-19 surge: WHO .
UN health agency chief urges countries to take action, work together as COVID wave accelerates.Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom are among countries in Europe turning, once again, to lockdowns to try and get the disease under control, while the health crisis in the United States is also deepening.

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