France And Germany Both Announce Second National Lockdowns
Second national lockdowns have been announced in both France and Germany in a bid to try and stop a surge in coronavirus cases.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that the country will begin a four-week lockdown period from November 2 onwards, with restrictions set to be reviewed after a fortnight.
Hours after Merkel’s announcement, French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed France would enter into lockdown from Friday, October 30, with restrictions being put in place until December 1.
Speaking at a press conference, Merkel said:
We are in a very serious situation. We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency.
As reported by DW, the number of people in German intensive care units has doubled over the past 10 days, and that it’s no longer possible to track and trace infection chains within many areas. Furthermore, the source of infection is said to be unknown in 75% of cases.
Described as being ‘lockdown light’, the measures being implemented in Germany are less severe than those that were seen in the spring. Restrictions include the closing of restaurants and bars, except for takeaway, as well as the cancelling of large events.
Theatres and cinemas will be closed, as will recreation facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and saunas. People will only be able to meet in public in groups of up to 10, with this number being restricted to two households.
Over in France, Macron stated that the country was at risk of being ‘overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first’, with daily death tolls being at the highest level since April.
As per the French government website, a ‘stay at home’ order will be implemented in France, except in instances such as taking one hour of exercise a day, seeking medical care or purchasing of essential items.
Restaurants, bars and non-essential shops will be shut, and a travel ban introduced between regions. Universities will move to online teaching, however schools will remain open. Groups of more than six individuals meeting in public places will now be forbidden.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), as per October 28, there have been 6,466,450 reported coronavirus cases across the EU/EEA and the UK, and 213,207 deaths.
A risk assessment published by the ECDC on October 23 listed a number of countries as being ‘of serious concern’ in terms of the ongoing pandemic, including Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK.
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CreditsDW and 2 others
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)