Countries in Europe have begun instituting lockdowns again as a second wave of coronavirus cases hit the continent following the summer lockdowns.
Spain and France were the first to start locking down in October, which local governments shutting down in an attempt to stem the new wave of cases. At the end of October, however, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a second national lockdown, the BBC reported.
“Mr. Macron said that under the new measures, starting on Friday, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons,” the outlet reported. “Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will close, but schools and factories will remain open.”
In Spain, several major provinces have begun locking down, and the country has declared a national state of emergency. The BBC reported that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a national curfew to try and limit the spread of new infections as well as allowing local authorities to ban travel from region to region. The new rules could be in effect for as little as 15 days to as long as six months, the outlet reported.
Germany has now imposed a one-month partial lockdown, Deutsche Welle reported.
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s state premiers announced on Wednesday a new partial lockdown to begin on Monday, November 2,” the outlet reported. “The so-called nationwide ‘lockdown light’ is a less intense version of the measures that brought German society and economic activity to a standstill in the spring.” New restrictions include, according to DW:
- Restaurants and bars will close, except for take-away
- Large events will be canceled again
- Unnecessary travel is strongly discouraged
- Overnight stays in hotels for tourist purposes is banned
- All those who can work from home should do so and employers should ease a transition into working from home
- Meetings in public will be restricted to just two households of up to 10 people total.
- Entertainment facilities such as theaters and cinemas will be closed
- Public recreation centers such as swimming pools, gyms and saunas will be closed
- No crowds at sports events
CNN reported Wednesday that England has followed suit, closing restaurants, bars, and other businesses deemed “non-essential” by government officials. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said before a parliament vote on the restrictions that he was “confronted” with data showing the U.K.’s National Health Service could “collapse” during a second wave of coronavirus cases.
“And when I look at what is happening now amongst some of our continental friends, and see doctors who have tested positive being ordered, alas, to work on Covid wards, and patients airlifted to hospitals in some other countries simply to make space, I can reach only one conclusion: I am not prepared to take the risk with the lives of the British people,” Johnson said.
Italy has also locked down, instituting a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. national curfew and ordering bars and restaurants to close at 6 p.m., CNN reported.
“Residents in ‘red zone’ regions — Lombardy, Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta and Calabria — may only leave home for necessities, health or work. Those in ‘orange zones’ are banned from leaving their towns except for work or health reasons — and bars and restaurants are closed except for delivery and takeout,” the outlet reported.
U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to institute a national lockdown, even as another wave of cases has hit America. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who currently leads in votes and may be the next president of the United States, has made comments suggesting he would be open to another national lockdown, which sent the world into a recession.