Two European nations, France and Germany on Wednesday announced second nationwide lockdowns as new cases of coronavirus soar in the countries, with increasing number of deaths.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech that the nation will enter a four-week lockdown from November 2.
During the new lockdown, Bars and pubs will be closed; Restaurants will close except for takeaways; Gyms, cinemas and theatres to shut; Indoor gatherings banned for more than 10 people and between more than two households; Hotels to close to tourists – staying open only for “essential reasons; and shops to stay open but with a maximum of one person per 10 square metres
The German Chancellor said schools, nurseries, and day care centers will remain open. She also revealed that she “wants to make sure” nursing homes can still have visitors during the lockdown.
Angel Merkel explained that “tough measures” are necessary to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed with coronavirus cases and deaths.
“If the pace of infections continues like this, then we’ll reach the limits of what the health system can manage within weeks,” she said.
“We need to take action now,” she added. Angel Merkel said that the key to defusing the “very serious” situation is to reduce contacts while limiting damage to the economy.
Germany reported a record of 14,964 new cases on Wednesday, according to its disease control agency.
Over the past week, the country has reported an average of more than 11,100 new cases of the virus per day, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Germany now has a total of 10,098 deaths, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
French President Emmanuel Macron also announced a second national lockdown that will require people to remain in their homes except when going out to buy essential goods, seek medical attention or exercise.
The restrictions will begin Friday November 30 and last until Dec. 1, he said.
During the lockdown, residents will no longer be allowed to travel between regions of the country and businesses like restaurants and bars will close. However, the nation’s schools will remain open and retirement homes can still accept visitors.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, France has reported an average of more than 38,700 new coronavirus cases per day over the past week.
Emmanuel Macron said he would ease the lockdowns once the country is able to reduce the daily number of cases to about 5,000 per day.