US News Virus: Europe tightens its restrictions, measures expected in France
New corona rules with "significant changes" are to come next week
The citizens of Germany should only have certainty about the exact design of the new measures in the fight against the corona pandemic in the coming week. "The next week will bring significant changes and decisions," said government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday in Berlin after a meeting of the Corona cabinet. The "target" is October 15, when the new measures are to come into force. Specific decisions were not made on Monday.
Faced with the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, European countries further tightened their protection measures on Wednesday, with strong restrictions introduced in Northern Ireland, Catalonia and the Netherlands, and a new turn of the screw expected in France.
Northern Ireland has announced the most restrictive measures in the UK for a month, as pressure increases on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take similar decisions in England.
Pubs and restaurants will have to close from Friday, school holidays will be extended to two weeks and businesses will no longer be able to sell alcohol from 8:00 p.m.
traffic light should slow down Europe's Corona patchwork quilt
The EU states want - in principle - a Europe-wide traffic light system to mark Corona travel restrictions. But before it can be realized, many (political) traffic lights have to switch from red to green. © picture alliance / dpa / J.Büttner Provided by Deutsche Welle After weeks of negotiations, the EU member states have agreed on initial guidelines against the European patchwork of corona travel restrictions.
Gatherings of more than 15 people, other than authorized sporting events, will be prohibited. Teleworking should be implemented except when this is not possible and universities should offer online courses as much as possible.
Northern Ireland faces "a very worrying increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations," Prime Minister Arlene Foster told Stormont local parliament, with 6,286 new cases in the past seven days.
Bars and restaurants will also close for 15 days in Catalonia. The announcement of this drastic measure in the northeastern region of Spain comes after the partial closure of Madrid and other restrictions taken in Andalusia, Navarre or Galicia to combat the increase in contamination in Spain, where the pandemic has killed more than 33,000 people.
Covid-19 in UK: Johnson closes Liverpool pubs and reactivates field hospitals
© AFP / TOBY MELVILLE "These numbers flash like warnings on the dashboard of an airplane. We must act now, ”Boris Johnson told Britons on Monday evening. Take drastic decisions, while avoiding widespread re-containment. In order to 'crush wherever it appears' the returning coronavirus, and as the UK is hit hard by a new wave of contaminations, Boris Johnson has decided to implement a simplified and unified version of the local restrictions imposed in recent weeks.
"The hour is serious"
A turn of the screw is also expected in France, where President Emmanuel Macron is to announce Wednesday evening new binding measures, even curfews, which should especially affect large cities where the Covid- 19 gets carried away.
"All the options are on the table", according to the entourage of the Head of State, who underlines how "the hour is serious".
For their part, the major players in tourism, from air transport to tour operators, including hotels and restaurants, are calling on the French government to set up rapid tests at airports to facilitate travel.
Hospital pressure linked to the Covid-19 epidemic continues to increase in France, with a further increase in intensive care hospitalizations and 87 deaths in 24 hours, according to figures released on Tuesday.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel also wants to impose new restrictions, including an extended obligation to wear a mask, in the face of the continuous rise in new cases.
DIRECT. Covid-19: curfew, re-containments ... What will Emmanuel Macron's announcements be?
© AFP / LUDOVIC MARIN Emmanuel Macron will address the French from 7:55 p.m., for a 45-minute interview on TF1 and France 2. New measures, even curfews, should be announced in particular in large cities where the Covid-19 is racing. With the resurgence of the epidemic in recent weeks, Emmanuel Macron will be interviewed this Wednesday evening on France 2 and TF1, from 7:55 pm The announcements he will make are awaited.
Bar and restaurant closing times should also be imposed when the incidence rate reaches 35 new daily infections per 100,000 people for seven consecutive days, according to a draft agreement negotiated on Wednesday by the Chancellor and the leaders of Germany's 16 regions .
Germany had 334,585 officially declared cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, with 5,132 new cases declared in 24 hours, the largest increase in six months, according to the Robert Koch health institute.
The Netherlands, hitherto less strict than their European neighbors, are putting in place from Wednesday a "partial confinement", in the words of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, including the closure of bars and restaurants.
In addition to the compulsory wearing of a mask in confined spaces for over 13s, the sale of alcohol is now prohibited from 8:00 p.m.Pope greets from afar
In the Vatican, Pope Francis avoided any close contact with the faithful during his public audience on Wednesday, greeting them from a distance and calling on them to be cautious to "end the pandemic".
"I would like, as I usually do, approach you and greet you, but (...) it is better to keep the distance", declared the Pope, who himself never wears mask during its public or private hearings.
Professor beheaded. Demonstrations planned throughout France, many political figures expected
© DAMIEM MEYER / AFP Already Saturday, several hundred people gathered in Nice or Rennes to denounce an "act of barbarism" and defend "the values of democracy ". Two days after the beheading of a History and Geography professor in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, gatherings are planned in several dozen cities in France this Sunday. Jean-Michel Blanquer, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Olivier Faure are notably expected at Place de la République in Paris.
Italy, where the pandemic has killed 36,000, announced new restrictions on Tuesday.
The decree, signed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte for 30 days, prohibits bars and restaurants from serving customers who are not seated after 9:00 p.m. It also bans parties and celebrations outside and in closed places and limits the number of guests at home to six.
The pandemic has killed more than 1.087 million people worldwide since the end of December, according to an assessment established by AFP on Wednesday.
The United States has the most deaths (215,914), ahead of Brazil (150,998), India (110,586), Mexico (84,420) and the United Kingdom (43,018).
According to a study published on Wednesday, the first wave of the pandemic is responsible on average for 20% more deaths, directly and indirectly, than the official figures for about twenty Western countries.
Nineteen European nations, Australia and New Zealand recorded a total of "around 206,000 more deaths than expected if the Covid-19 pandemic had not occurred" between mid-February and the end of May , reported this mathematical modeling study, published in the journal Nature Medicine.
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10/14/2020 16:27:42 - Paris (AFP) - © 2020 AFP
More than a million cases of Covid in France ... but this is not the most worrying figure .
© Copyright 2020, L'Obs If Spain officially became Wednesday, October 21 the first member of the 'European Union to cross the milestone of one million proven cases of Covid-19, the sixth country in the world, France , unsurprisingly , crossed this threshold this Friday, October 23.