France's Prime Minister has told its citizens to "pull themselves together" amid a new wave of coronavirus cases.
Jean Castex said the public is becoming careless and has raised the specter of a second lockdown after rising more than 10,000 cases in the past week.
France's seven-day average is now 1,691 new cases per day, up from 542 a month ago and 1,056 at the end of July.
"If we do not act together, we expose ourselves to the increased risk that the upswing of the epidemic will be difficult to control," said Castex during a visit to an intensive care unit in southern France.
Some parts of France have tightened their mask rules despite the summer heat wave. The police will now step up controls on face coverings – while neighboring Belgium has today mandated masks in all public spaces, including outdoors.
Fears are growing that France could be placed on the UK's quarantine list within days of UK ministers' announcement that it would close travel corridors if the cases emerge.
Cabinet ministers like Matt Hancock and Michael Gove are reportedly debating today whether France should blacklist Spain and Belgium.
French health authorities have reported 10,143 new cases in the past seven days, up from 8,833 in the previous week, an increase of five consecutive weeks
France's daily death toll remains low. There are currently 30,354 deaths related to Covid-19, including 19,849 in hospital
Italy is considering rapid tests at airports
Italy plans to run rapid coronavirus tests at airports to screen travelers from abroad.
The new tests are currently being approved and could also be used at border crossings, sources from the ANSA news agency said.
Authorities could potentially target travelers returning from high-risk countries, as Germany has done.
The northern region of Emilia-Romagna has already ordered its own tests for people returning from Spain, Greece, Croatia and Malta.
Italy has seen a slight increase in coronavirus cases in the past few days. The 7-day average rose to 403 new cases per day – up from 281 at the end of July.
However, the increase so far is much smaller than the alarming increases in Spain, France and Germany.
While countries like Germany and France have already introduced airport tests, the UK hasn't – on the grounds that many cases are still overlooked and that testing is no substitute for quarantine rules.
France's number of coronavirus cases rose by 1,397 in the last update on Tuesday, rising from 202,775 to 204,172.
Health officials have reported 10,143 new cases in the past seven days, up from 8,833 in the previous week, an increase of five consecutive weeks.
France reported on Monday the first significant increase in the number of coronavirus patients in hospital since the lockdown was lifted, although it fell again on Tuesday.
Across France, 227 clusters have been identified, up from 25 in the past 24 hours as summer holidays resume and people gradually return to work.
In yet another blow to the resumption of normal life, this year's Paris Marathon was canceled today after initially being postponed to November 15.
Castex said the situation had been "wrong" for two weeks and urged the French to "pull themselves together," the French media said.
The Prime Minister said the tests were "more than satisfactory" with more than 600,000 tests being done weekly, but more could be done to target those with symptoms.
Castex spoke of the risk of being locked again and said, "Nobody wants to go through this again."
Castex said he would urge local authorities to "extend the obligation to wear masks in public places as much as possible".
Some cities, including Paris, Lille, Toulouse and Biarritz, have already put a mandatory order for face masks in crowded outdoor areas despite the hot weather.
Masks are already mandatory in shops and banks across France.
Today the government said it will step up police controls to make sure people are wearing masks. France is "at a turning point".
"We will mobilize police forces to carry out controls," said spokesman Gabriel Attal to reporters. "But it's not the police that you should be afraid of … you should fear the virus that is lurking and contaminating."
France's Prime Minister Jean Castex (pictured yesterday in a Montpellier hospital) has told citizens to "pull themselves together" amid a renewed spike in coronavirus cases in France
On a hot weekend day in Paris, tourists wearing masks walk in front of the Eiffel Tower
People wear masks in Montmartre, Paris yesterday after face-covering rules were tightened
The Paris Marathon is canceled due to coronavirus
This year's Paris Marathon has been canceled, organizers said today.
Originally due on April 5th, the race had been postponed to November 15th, but has now been completely scrapped.
"After we have tried everything to keep the event going, we feel obliged, alongside the city of Paris, to cancel the 2020 edition," said the organizers.
& # 39; Given the difficulty faced by many runners, especially from abroad … it was decided that it would be better … for those affected if we were to organize (the marathon) in 2021.
"We will work side by side with the city of Paris on a 2021 edition that will bring together the most passionate runners on the world's most beautiful streets."
The Paris Marathon is one of the most popular events on the global running calendar and typically attracts more than 40,000 participants.
The New York Marathon was canceled in June, while Boston's race was canceled for the first time in its 124-year history.
The London Marathon, originally planned for April, has been postponed to October 4th and is only open to elite runners.
The surge has sparked fears that France will be the next country to be removed from the UK-approved travel list, as Spain and Belgium have already done.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday the UK would "not hesitate" to re-enforce the quarantine requirement for additional countries if necessary, having previously done so for Spain and Belgium, among others.
The previous Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron held a video conference with top ministers at his summer retreat on the Riviera.
Ministers decided to work out new restrictions on the top 20 cities to curb the infection rate and extend a ban on gatherings of 5,000 or more until October 31.
France's daily death toll remains low. There are currently 30,354 deaths related to Covid-19, including 19,849 in hospital.
In Belgium, masks are mandatory in public places in Brussels as the country battles its own worrying virus outbreak.
The new measure was introduced in all 19 municipalities in the Brussels region after reaching the threshold of 50 daily cases per 100,000 people.
Residents of the city of 1.2 million now have to wear masks in parks, on streets or in other public places as well as in publicly accessible private spaces.
There are a handful of exceptions to the decision in Brussels, for example for sports or for people with certain disabilities.
Previously, masks were only mandatory in crowded public spaces and enclosed spaces such as shopping malls. Children under the age of 11 are exempt.
The mask wearing regulation is one of the strictest currently in use in European capitals and follows a similar decision by the authorities in Madrid in July.
Belgium has one of the highest per capita death rates in the world, and infections are increasing along with those in much of Western Europe.
The measure does not apply to the other two regions of Belgium, Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia.
People wearing masks visit Montmartre and look out over the Paris skyline after the French capital introduced new rules on face covering
In other countries, Germany has seen the worst daily increase in coronavirus cases in three months today as the "very worrying" recovery in infections continues to grow.
Health officials announced 1,226 new cases this morning, the highest number since May 9 – rising from 217,293 to 218,519.
The seven-day average of new cases is now over 900, a month ago it was 350.
Angela Merkel's Health Minister said today that outbreaks had occurred across almost all of Germany and warned that each new case would make the track-and-trace process more difficult.
He added that the surge was partly due to parties and family gatherings – a warning that the virus could spread quickly "when it comes to alcohol."
After not seeing 1,000 cases in a day for almost three months, Germany has exceeded that threshold four times in the past week.
There were almost 6,500 new infections in the past seven days, up from 5,096 the week before and fewer than 3,000 a week in mid-July.
The German R-rate was above the 1.0 threshold for most of the last month, although it fell to 0.97 in the last update on Tuesday.
Health officials say the continued surge is "very worrying" and has linked it to travelers returning from other summer vacations in Europe.
Germany yesterday extended its travel warning for Spain to Madrid and the Basque Country after previously restricting travel to Catalonia and the surrounding areas.
Germany today suffered the worst daily surge in coronavirus cases since May 9, when 1,226 new infections were added
Spain has seen a worrying surge in coronavirus cases in the past few weeks. Nearly 26,000 cases have been recorded in the past seven days – up from fewer than 3,000 a week in June
Spain has already been removed from the list of cases approved in the UK and cases have continued to rise since then. The seven-day average is now 3,357 cases per day compared to 480 a month ago.
Spain's moving average is now 3,357 per day, up from 2,300 at the end of July and just 480 last month.
The total number of infections has now risen above that in the UK and has become the highest in Western Europe, drawing criticism from the Spanish government.
According to the Ministry of Health, there are currently more than 500 outbreak clusters in Spain.
The ministry's emergency coordinator Fernando Simon said Monday that there are cases of community transmission in some places that are "not perfectly controlled" but he said they had "gradually subsided" over the past few days.
The Spanish government defended its response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, saying that "appropriate measures" would be taken in coordination with the regions.
"The data shows that we are very active in tracking and detecting the virus," the government said in a statement.
Authorities also said they have tested nearly 7.5 million people since the pandemic began. Over 400,000 people were tested in the past week alone.
Spain imposed one of the toughest bans in the world after the death toll rose in March and April. Since then, the state of emergency has been lifted.
In a letter published in the medical journal The Lancet, a group of Spanish health experts called for an independent investigation into the government's handling of the crisis.
More than 50,000 health workers have been infected and nearly 20,000 deaths have occurred in nursing homes, the authors said.
The health experts pointed to a number of errors, including poor coordination between Madrid and regional governments.
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