- Europe’s coronavirus cases are surging, prompting authorities to impose new restrictions to try to control the virus.
- Paris, London, and other large areas of Europe are being put under renewed restrictions.
- Governments have stopped short of putting entire nations into lockdown again.
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Europe’s COVID-19 outbreak is cascading out of control, prompting national authorities to impose harsh restrictions again in the hope of bringing the virus back under control.
This week, the average number of new cases recorded each day in the European Union and the UK combined was greater than in the US, starkly reversing an earlier trend.
According to European Union data, the number of daily new cases across the 27-nation bloc plus the UK, which left the EU at the beginning of the year, numbered 80,000 on average.
The return of mass restrictions in Europe brought to an end a summer in which â€” unlike in the US â€” the spread of the virus had significantly slowed.
A graph tweeted by The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler showed the stark reversal:
Yikes, the EU is out of control — this is how quickly things can unravel, folks. pic.twitter.com/HhL7fFfr3t
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) October 15, 2020
Here is a rundown of the picture across the continent:
France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the Netherlands all recorded record-high cases on Wednesday or Thursday.
Daily case graphs in most European nations look like this one, for France:
In response, governments have imposed extra restrictions, which many hoped would be limited to avoid the nationwide lockdowns of spring:
- The UK has put much of the country, including London, under enhanced restrictions. Different households are barred from meeting indoors in some places, and certain businesses have been ordered to close in especially hard-hit places.
- France put about 20 million people in major cities such as Paris under curfews.
- Germany has limited gatherings and put a curfew on bars and restaurants in areas including Berlin.
- Italy made it mandatory to wear a mask outside in Rome. It is considering a ban on parties.
- Spain has locked down its capital, Madrid, along with other regions.
- Ireland has limited social gatherings and is letting pubs and restaurants serve food only outdoors.
- Belgium ordered many bars in Brussels, its capital, to close for a month.
- The Netherlands closed all bars, restaurants, and coffee shops except for takeaways and limited how many people could visit households.
Despite the rising number of infections, the number of people dying from the virus remains far smaller than earlier in the year.
Possible reasons include better public-health measures, the increased ability of healthcare systems to treat people, and the fact that many of the most vulnerable have already died.