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World Germany and France prepare new lockdowns as COVID sweeps Europe

13:25  28 october  2020
13:25  28 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Entering lockdown . Marseille and France 's overseas department of Guadeloupe are already on "maximum alert," meaning bars and restaurants were Countries across Europe are re-imposing local lockdowns and new restrictions to fight the second wave of infection sweeping the continent, with

Coronavirus: Europe on lockdown . Germany 's capital goes quiet. Chancellor Angela Merkel on March 22 After Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for COVID -19 and went into quarantine, he sent a letter to The new law also dictates harsh punishments for those who violate lockdown measures.

By Andreas Rinke and Sudip Kar-Gupta

a room that has a sign on the side of a building: Unicorns are seen on display in front of a store in city center prior to an ordered lock-down due to the further spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pfarrkirchen © Reuters/ANDREAS GEBERT Unicorns are seen on display in front of a store in city center prior to an ordered lock-down due to the further spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pfarrkirchen

BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - Germany and France prepared to announce restrictions approaching the level of last spring's blanket lockdowns on Wednesday as COVID deaths across Europe rose almost 40% in a week, sending financial markets sharply lower on fears of the likely costs.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to meet state premiers to discuss closing restaurants and bars but keeping schools and nurseries open, while allowing people to go out in public only with members of their own household.

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French government envisaging month-long lockdown to combat spread of covid -19, French media reports. Macron due to make televised address at 8pm today to introduce measures, extent of such is not known. National lockdown being considered would be 'more flexible' than March as cases rise to

Spain also plans ‘transition to normality’ despite a rise in German Covid -19 infection rate after relaxation of restrictions.

In France, which has seen more than 50,000 new cases a day, President Emmanuel Macron will give a televised address on Wednesday evening when he is expected to announce further curbs on people's movements following the curfew measures introduced across much of the country last week.

The measures, following similar moves in Italy and Spain, are expected to leave schools and most businesses working and would be less severe than the near-total lockdowns imposed at the start of the crisis in March and April.

But the economic cost is likely to be heavy, wiping out the fragile signs of recovery seen over the summer and raising the prospect of a double-dip recession. European stock markets dived on Wednesday, hitting their lowest levels since June, while the euro fell against the dollar.

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European countries bet on personal responsibility and targeted measures, instead of sweeping restrictions As government and private money pour into the global race for a Covid -19 vaccine France and Spain are on the leading edge of a resurgence in Covid -19 cases across Europe in the

Germany is easing lockdowns in one of two districts in the west of the country where restrictions had been introduced after a significant cluster of new It was a first for Germany , which has been relatively spared by the COVID -19 pandemic until now and was one of the first European countries to

While leaders have been desperate to avoid the crippling cost of lockdowns, the new measures reflect mounting alarm at the galloping pace of the pandemic from Spain, France and Germany to Russia, Poland and Bulgaria.

"If we wait until the intensive care units are full, it will be too late," said German Health Minister Jens Spahn, whose country has already taken in patients from its neighbour the Netherlands, where hospitals have reached their limits.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex warned lawmakers France's intensive care units would be saturated by Nov. 11 if nothing is done to stop the pandemic which has infected more than 42 million people and killed more than 1.1 million worldwide. Swiss hospitals could reach breaking point in days, officials warned.

VACCINE HOPES DENTED

The latest figures from the World Health Organization on Tuesday showed Europe reported 1.3 million new cases in the past seven days, nearly half the 2.9 million reported worldwide, with over 11,700 deaths, a 37% jump over the previous week.

Germany's schools try to open amid new coronavirus lockdowns

  Germany's schools try to open amid new coronavirus lockdowns Although the Bavarian government, to the south, has ordered the first widespread lockdowns in districts along the Austrian border amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, schools in most of Germany, generally speaking, are back to normal. At least for the moment. Related: Is overtourism over? Travelers to Europe stay home due to COVID-19 restrictions.Thuringia is using a color-coded system for responding to the coronavirus in school. Green means normal. Yellow means distancing restrictions. And red means quarantines or closures.“Our school is green but other schools in Weimar are yellow and red, so far.

Beyond Europe , New York’s mayor, Bill De Blasio, said offices, in-store retail, outdoor dining, hair salons and barbershops would all reopen from Monday as the city enters phase two of its exit from lockdown . Restaurants, cafes and bars serving food may apply to use outdoor public spaces such as

France , Italy and Spain are preparing to loosen coronavirus restrictions, with other countries watching closely to see how some of the first and hardest-hit countries in Europe might safely emerge from their crippling lockdowns . After the US, where the number of infections is heading towards the 1m mark

The United States, which saw more than 500,000 cases over the past week, has seen record daily infections and, while many countries in Asia have largely brought the disease under control, China reported 42 new cases on Tuesday, its highest daily toll in more than two months.

The virus was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year.

Hopes that new treatments might curb the spread were dealt a blow when the head of Britain's vaccine procurement task force warned that an effective vaccine may never be developed and that early versions were likely to be imperfect.

While surveys in several countries show many want strict controls to halt the spread of the disease, the broad climate of public support for governments seen in the first wave of the pandemic has increasingly evaporated.

Governments across the region have been under fire for lack of coordination and for failing to use a lull in cases over the summer to bolster defences, leaving hospitals unprepared and forcing people on to packed public transport to get to work.

Italy, which pledged more than 5 billion euros ($5.9 billion) in new support measures for businesses hit by the latest restrictions, has seen repeated clashes between police and protesters in cities from Naples to Turin as well as bitter criticism from restaurant owners and business groups.

As similar measures are imposed elsewhere, business groups have sounded the alarm.

Germany's BGA, a lobby group for the services sector, said restaurant closures would inflict a "death blow" on many businesses and called instead for tighter measures to restrict contagion in people's homes.

(Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Lockdown looms in the UK as Europe braces for a significant spike in coronavirus infections in the run-up to Christmas .
France, Belgium, Germany, Britain, and Sweden all reported record numbers of new daily infections. France reported 49,215 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, compared with 47,637 on Thursday. The death tally went up by 256 over 24 hours to 36,565.On Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron said the country would "brutally apply the brakes" from Friday, introducing some of Europe's strictest coronavirus measures. They will run until at least December 1.

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