Europe Imposes New Restrictions as France Reports Record Number of New Coronavirus Cases

By Anna Breuer on 25 October 2020
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German composer and conductor Nicolai Otto, a founder of the Vienna Philharmonic, at the Haus der Musik museum in Vienna

European countries are scrambling to contain the spread of the coronavirus after France announced a daily record for new infections amidst the Continent’s second wave of infections.  Italy and Spain both announced new steps to combat the spread, while the number of new infections continues to climb in Austria, Germany, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

The news comes are Europe set its clocks back by one hour, which means it will get darker earlier, causing more people to spend a greater amount of time indoors.

Italy’s prime minister announced new restrictions including the closure of bars and restaurants at 6 p.m., a return to online classes for high-school students, and the suspension of many sports and leisure-time activities.

“The objective is not to bring the contagion curve down to zero, but to bring it under control,” said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at a news conference. The prime minister said that he understood the frustrations of his country’s citizens but that the new measures were the only way to avoid a second complete lockdown, as was the case in the spring.

Calling the situation “extreme,” Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced a state of emergency.  The move gives the government greater power to impose social-distancing rules and emergency health-care policies.  Sánchez’ government also announced a limit on social gatherings similar what Austrian Bundeskanzler Sebastian Kurz announced earlier in the week, allowing a maximum of six people to meet and socialize.  The nationwide curfew between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. will continue.

French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron told reporters that the epidemic “is reaccelerating very quickly” while visiting a hospital outside of Paris.  The number of new infections on Saturday was 45,422, the second highest since the start of the pandemic.  The number of new cases over the past week in France has on average increased by 50%.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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