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The coronavirus restrictions will go into effect Wednesday in the Netherlands, the UK, the Czech Republic and other parts of Europe as nations seek to reverse an alarming tide in new cases. The continent is now seeing more new coronavirus cases – an average of 100,000 per day – than at any other time during the pandemic.
Bars, restaurants and schools have been closed or severely restricted, and officials are working to strengthen hospital capacity to accommodate an expected influx of new COVID-19 patients.
The numbers that showed signs of taking off in late August and September are now skyrocketing. Europe reported over 700,000 new coronavirus cases last week, a spike representing a 36% weekly increase, NPR’s Reese Oxner recently reported.
Europe’s infection rate “has been rising for 77 days,” the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said in its most recent weekly report for the European Economic Area and the UK.
Below is an example of the situation in Europe:
In France, President Emmanuel Macron used a national television interview Wednesday evening to announce the start of a night curfew in Paris and eight other densely populated areas, in an effort to control the coronavirus in what are considered “health emergency zones”.
The curfew will start from 9pm. at 6 am for the next four weeks, starting on Saturday. Anyone who violates the curfew will have to pay a fine of 135 euros (almost $ 160) for the first offense. A second offense would result in a much steeper fine of € 1,500 – about $ 1,760.
“I’m not talking about infantilizing people,” Macron said, according to France24, “we are taking proportionate measures.”
Italy reported its largest daily total of new cases on Wednesday, with more than 7,300 cases, easily surpassing the country’s dire peaks in March. The rise comes one day after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree that sets new limits on gatherings, sports and school activities. Bars and restaurants can still operate until midnight, but only if they offer table service.
In Spain, Catalonia’s regional government is ordering all bars and restaurants to close their on-site businesses, saying they can only sell takeaways for the next 15 days. Commercial areas, theaters and gyms will have to operate at reduced capacity. It’s the only way to avoid an even deeper arrest, officials say.
“We are facing difficult times; we must act today to avoid a blockade in the coming weeks”, Vice President Pere Aragonès She said, adding that the region’s health statistics “are very worrying”.
“It is the first time that one of Spain’s autonomous regions has taken such drastic measures to combat the pandemic since the state of emergency ended in mid-June and control of the health system returned to the regional governments “, reports Lucia Benavides for NPR from Barcelona . “According to the new rules of the Spanish health ministry, all municipalities with more than 100,000 residents who meet certain criteria must be confined. None of the cities of Catalonia fall into this category, but they are not far away and Catalan leaders say they want to prevent another blockade. “
European Center for Disease Prevention and Control
The Czech Republic, hard hit by the new wave of coronavirus, has closed schools since Wednesday. Restaurants and bars are closed for everything except takeaway orders and can only operate until 8pm, according to Radio Prague International.
“With the highest number of infections per capita in Europe, the Czech Republic is also canceling non-essential medical procedures to maximize hospital capacity,” reports Esme Nicholson for NPR from Berlin. “The Czech Republic was quick to impose its first lockdown in March and was one of the first to adopt the face mask, measures that previously helped flatten the curve.”
To make matters worse, the coronavirus has infected nearly 5,000 healthcare workers and, in that vital sector, the number of sick staff doubles every 10 days, RPI says.
Netherlands is implementing a partial block due to an increase in new cases. The government said on Tuesday: “The coronavirus has been given too much room to spread again.”
The restrictions close all food and beverage establishments, with the exception of takeaway orders. No more than four people from different families can come together, indoors or out.
Schools and public transport will continue to operate, but all over 13s must wear a face mask in indoor areas and on public transport.
The UK. Wednesday set up a three-tier warning system that will group several restricted regions of England in an effort to avoid repeating a national blockade. So far, the only region under a “very high” alarm is Liverpool, where people have taken advantage of the last few hours before the restrictions to party on the streets.
These images sin our city, attacking our brave police officers is unacceptable. Our health service creaks, 300 in hospital and 30 deaths this week 😱 ignoring these facts is why we are in level 3 measures. Https://t.co/WIW12AuAhr
– Joe Anderson (@mayor_anderson) October 14, 2020
“These images shame our city,” Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson he said via Twitter, responding to photos of the large number of people who gathered in the meantime between 10pm. closing of pubs and start of new restrictions at midnight.
Noting that some people in the crowd had attacked a police car, Anderson called the violence “unacceptable”.
“There is a reason why our city is at level 3 #COVID-19“The level of infection is at very high levels and it is starting to impact our hospitals, both for the virus and for other diseases like cancer,” Anderson said Wednesday.