The dramatic spikes in coronavirus cases that European countries have experienced since the beginning of October have led their governments to impose severe restrictions to try to gain control of the situation, with Christmas two months away and autumn and winter still ahead.
Curfews, limited capacity and meetings and even the ghost of new confinements hangs over an Old Continent that is preparing to face very difficult months.
France: 52,000 positives in one day, but could be double
In France, curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. which since last week affected 20 million people, has spread from Sunday to 46 million, that is, to two thirds of the total population. 92 of the 101 departments into which the country is administratively divided are at a high level of vulnerability, and the latest data on confirmed daily infections is anything but encouraging: 52,000 on Sunday.
In addition, the President of the Scientific Council, Jean-François Delfraissy, has warned that the situation could be even worse and estimates that the actual number of cases could be around 100,000. Delfraissy considers the situation “difficult, even critical” and assures that although “we had foreseen that there would be a second wave, we have been surprised by the brutality of what has happened in the last 10 days”.
The worrying advance of the epidemic has returned to public debate the possibility of applying a new confinement, although less severe than that of March, a hypothesis that the French employers do not like.
Italy: bars close at 6pm
“These are difficult days. The contagion curve is growing in the world. Across Europe the wave is very high. We must react quickly and with determination if we want to avoid unsustainable numbers. This is how his Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, addressed the Italian people on Saturday before announcing the new restrictions that will remain in force in the country during the next month.
Among them are the possibility of closing streets or squares to the public from 9:00 p.m., the closure of the hotel business between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. and the limitation of tables to four non-living people, the suspension of theaters, cinemas and concert halls and the prohibition of parties in any space.
United Kingdom: lack of control in the figures and aid to companies
The UK registered on Sunday 19,790 new infections of covid-19 and another 151 deaths, according to the latest official figures, released while several areas of the country are under strict restrictive measures to control the pandemic. With the new infections, the total number of cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom amounts to 873,800 and the number of people killed by covid reaches 44,896 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to EFE
The latest data indicates that the rate of people hospitalized for covid is rising rapidly in the north of England, where several areas – such as Liverpool and Manchester – are under restrictions, with the closure of bars or pubs that do not sell food, the prohibition of meetings between people who do not live under the same roof, as well as the closure of casinos, bingo halls and other entertainment venues, reports EFE.
Germany: “Very, very difficult months ahead”
In Germany, daily cases of coronavirus doubled last week compared to the previous one and two states in the countries from Bavaria have re-imposed quarantines for two weeks. Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that there are “very, very difficult months ahead” in which “every day counts.” In addition, Merkel has advanced a meeting with the representatives of the German states to next Wednesday, in which new measures are expected to be announced to curb infections.