Governments across Europe are tightening restrictions to control a second wave of coronavirus that has seen new confirmed infections on the continent increase by a third in the past seven days.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday that more than 700,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Europe last week, a 34 percent jump from the previous week.
Infections are also at their highest level since the pandemic began, although the number of cases in the second wave cannot be compared to the first, as increased testing means that mild or moderate infections that were missed early on are now showing up in the data .
However, deaths from the virus have increased 16 percent in the past week compared to the previous week. Although the disease is still well below the first wave peak, this suggests the disease is spreading faster than it did in summer.
Bars that were badly hit in the initial lockdowns were again at the forefront of a new round of curbs – with the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, which have the highest infection rates in Europe, all closed until at least November Try to Keep Infections below Bring control.
The heads of state and government in both countries have announced that they will partially switch off this week. In the Netherlands, all bars, restaurants and cafes must close their doors by 10 p.m. on Wednesday and remain closed for four weeks. In the Czech Republic bars, clubs, restaurants and schools close from Wednesday until at least November 3rd.
European leaders are rushing to introduce a new round of restrictions on daily life in the face of increasing coronavirus cases on the continent. Above is the infection rate per million people among a selection of European nations, with the Netherlands and the Czech Republic on the continent being hardest hit
A graph showing the death rate per million people in the same group of nations shows that deaths are well below their first wave peak but are increasing gradually, meaning the virus is more prevalent than it was in summer
A huge surge in Dutch virus cases has catapulted the Netherlands into the top 10 countries in the world by infection rate, and ministers are struggling to get a grip on the outbreak
Men in a bar in the Netherlands are listening to TV while Prime Minister Mark Rutte announces a month-long national closure starting Wednesday, which will close all bars and restaurants
A graph provided by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showing the distribution of laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the EU / EEA and the UK as of October 13, and the rise in coronavirus – Falls and the Falls shows second wave across Europe
Czech universities have been told to close dormitories with students to return home while classes continue remotely. Masks have become mandatory both indoors and outdoors, gatherings are limited to six people both indoors and outdoors, while businesses can accommodate a maximum of two people in a group.
Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacek announced the changes and said the best advice now is "go to work when you have to, go shopping when you have to and then stay home".
Additional restrictions in the Netherlands mean that all team sports except major leagues will be canceled and masks will become mandatory, with people being instructed to "stay at home as much as possible".
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who had previously shunned the use of masks and boasted an "intelligent lockdown" approach, warned that the new measures would "harm" but added: "The facts do not lie".
Holland's daily caseload hit 7,400 on Tuesday versus 6,800 on Monday. A total of 43,903 cases were reported last week, up nearly 60 percent from the 43,903 a fortnight ago.
The Czech Republic reported 8,325 new cases on Tuesday, almost twice as many as on Monday but slightly fewer than 8,616 cases on Friday – the highest total number of pandemics in the country.
In Spain, which had the highest infection rate in Europe in August and September, leaders in Catalonia are also considering closing bars and restaurants for 15 days to help slow the infection.
It comes after health officials warned that the region where Barcelona is located is about two weeks behind Madrid – the epicenter of Spain's second wave. Parts of the capital are already completely closed again.
Meanwhile, Italy also put new bar and restaurant restrictions in place this week, banning people from standing in bars after 9 p.m. and banning groups of people from drinking on the street.
All bars and restaurants have to close by midnight according to the rules, while indoor parties are also prohibited and wedding ceremonies are limited to 30 people.
France has already closed bars in some of its worst-hit cities, including Paris, and is on the verge of putting in stricter lockdown measures with Emmanuel Macron to speak to the nation late Wednesday.
Martin Hirsch, director of hospitals in the Paris area, has warned that 90 percent of ICU beds will be occupied by coronavirus patients within 10 days, calling the increase "inevitable".
He called for stricter work-from-home rules and social distancing restrictions, and said everyone must reduce social contact by 20 percent to get infections under control.
Macron is believed to be considering a nationwide curfew, like the one in place in badly hit cities, to slow the spread of the virus, but has ruled out another national lockdown for the time being.
PARIS, FRANCE: The Comptoir des Canettes bar pictured was closed on Tuesday due to stricter restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak
France has placed the cities of Toulouse and Montpellier under Covid measures while warning that after an increase in cases (left), full lockdowns of the kind observed at the beginning of the year may follow. Deaths have started to rise (right) but are nowhere near the top of the first wave
There was a sharp spike in infections in Spain in August and September, although the numbers have flattened out in recent days (left). Deaths have also started to rise, but are well below the peak of the first wave
Widely cited as one of the best virus responses in Europe, Germany has also put in new restrictions in the past few weeks to counter a surge in virus cases.
Bars and restaurants were hit by a curb at 10 p.m. in cities where more than 50 per 100,000 people are infected, including Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg.
The UK has also unveiled a three-tier system that has closed bars in Liverpool, warning that a national breaker lockdown could go into effect next week that will last for two weeks.
Officials are keen to avoid the total lockdowns imposed in the spring, which resulted in serious job losses.
Instead, they rely on a patchwork of regional or targeted restrictions that have sometimes caused confusion and frustration among those affected.
The steps reflect a new approach to contain the virus among governments guarding against harming already fragile economies.
The United States Department of Health appeared to support the new approach, and WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said lockdowns should be a "last resort".
Chancellor Angela Merkel told an advisory body of the European Union on Tuesday that she was observing the increasing number of infections "with great concern".
"We must not now waste what we have achieved through restrictions in recent months," said Merkel in a video address.
"None of us found it easy to impose these restrictions," she added. "Many people have lost their lives. It is all the more important that we now ensure that no further lockdown is necessary and that our health system is not overloaded again."
In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Rutte said: “We are partially banned. It hurts, but it's the only way we have to be stricter. If we do all of these, we can quickly return to a more normal life. & # 39;
Under the new measures in the country, team sports are banned for those over the age of 18, while the number of visitors per day is now only three per day.
The rules will go into effect on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. GMT) and will apply for two weeks initially, when the government looks to see if they have stopped the virus from spreading.
For months, the Dutch government opted for a so-called "smart lockdown" policy that was far more relaxed than its European neighbors.
But it has made an effort to control the second wave of the disease.
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS: Cafes like this one in Amsterdam will have to close for at least two weeks according to government plans to be unveiled on Tuesday
Germany has warned of new nationwide restrictions on gatherings and travel after cases trended upwards (left), although deaths remained unchanged (right). Eight cities have already been put into immediate action, as Angela Merkel warns that nationwide curbs could soon follow
Italy has seen a sharp spike in coronavirus infections in recent days, although deaths have increased only marginally as better testing facilities detect more moderate and milder cases
According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the Netherlands currently has the third highest rate of new infections per 100,000 people in Europe in the last 14 days, after only the Czech Republic and Belgium.
The new steps are aimed primarily at the hospitality and entertainment industries, where the disease is spreading, according to the government.
Restaurants and cafes will be closed to everything but take away, as will the famous "coffee shops" of the Netherlands that sell cannabis.
"Alcohol and soft drugs will no longer be sold or delivered between 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.," the government's new regulations say, while public consumption of both is also prohibited during these times.
The Netherlands has also lagged behind other European countries in ordering masks to be worn, but Rutte said he wanted "to have an ongoing discussion once and for all".
The Dutch government gave "urgent advice" to wear masks in their last action two weeks ago, but "that did not provide sufficient clarity," and many people continued to go out without them, Rutte said.
Rutte, who has been in power for ten years on Wednesday, is increasingly criticized for not getting coronavirus cases under control.
Populist opposition parties in particular have used the Covid-19 crisis to push their case ahead of the Dutch elections in March.
While some mayors have called for the compulsory wearing of masks, sources said it was "legally complicated" and it would take weeks for such a rule to be put in place.
Authorities advise people to work from home unless it is “absolutely impossible” and warn that if infected, workplaces will be closed for 14 days.
It is believed that the catering closure was discussed with regional health guides on Monday.
There were queues outside cannabis cafes in March after the government announced a closure before partially withdrawing.
While Holland had the first wave under control by the summer, a surge of more than 60,000 cases in the past two weeks has catapulted its infection rate into the top 10 in the world, with a test-and-trace plan not including the outbreak.
There were a total of 174,450 cases and 6,368 deaths in the Netherlands.
After the first wave of infections subsided in May, the Netherlands worked to increase testing capacity, promising that the screening would be available to everyone.
The laboratories said they had increased capacity by two thirds to 51,000 tests per day in order to eliminate hotspots as they emerged.
But last month, testing was again limited to people with serious health problems, and Rutte admitted that capacity was well below demand.
"We don't have our basic infrastructure in order," said health professor Jochen Mierau.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (pictured in Brussels earlier this month) previously insisted that he did not want to make masks mandatory
"There is a shortage of tests while Germany has more than enough to test even people with no symptoms."
While masks have been mandatory in German shops since the summer, the Dutch government has only been advising them indoors since last week.
Rutte has repeatedly stated that he has no intention of forcing people to wear a mask – which the World Health Organization calls one of the most important tools to fight the virus.
The Netherlands' chief medical officer has publicly reiterated his claim that their usefulness has not been proven.
“Why should we have to force people? What kind of child nation would that make us? We'll see if we have to, but I'd regret it, ”said Rutte last week.
He hoped the new guidelines on masks and earlier bar closings would prove their worth.
"The numbers don't look good," he said, "but we won't be able to see the effects of the new measures until this weekend."
A national poll found that two-thirds of respondents said Rutte, who is facing an election in March, should get tougher.
The Netherlands is one of a number of governments across Europe imposing stricter restrictions to curb the alarming increases in certain cases.
In Catalonia, drastic measures have been taken to avoid a repetition of the emergency lockdown currently in force in Madrid.
The regional government called the Generalitat will announce the move at a press conference on Wednesday.
If confirmed, it would be the first time since the three-month state of emergency that began in Spain in mid-March that bars and restaurants across the region have had to close.
They were only allowed to serve takeaway food and not meals or drinks that were intended to be consumed on the premises. There is still no official comment from the Generalitat.
Earlier in the day it had been widely reported that closing bars and restaurants was an option on the table that should be discussed at a meeting with representatives of those affected.
Even non-professional sports competitions will be suspended in the region for 15 days.
The decision was made after regional health chiefs increased the number of Covid-19 cases to 30 percent for the next week.
The number of new cases confirmed in Catalonia on Tuesday was 1,280, bringing the total to 187,574.
BARCELONA, SPAIN: Students at Penyafort-Montserrat University wave from their windows while locked in their dormitories due to an outbreak of 50 cases
Health chiefs said 14 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total since the pandemic started to 13,513.
The socialist-led Spanish government declared a state of emergency on Friday to partially block Madrid after the right-wing regional government rejected the move and a court order lifted the central government's original blocking order.
The Spanish government said the spread of the coronavirus in Madrid was still worrying despite a decline in the number of patients being treated in hospitals.
Madrid regional director Isabel Diaz Ayuso again urged the central government to lift a soft ban imposed on Friday.
However, according to Health Minister Salvador Illa, time is needed to assess whether a slower spread of the virus is not due to delays in reporting infections or the lower number of laboratory tests being carried out in Madrid.
Madrid accounted for 15 percent of the 7,118 new infections reported by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, bringing the national case count to over 896,000. With 80 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll rose to 33,204.
Health experts agree that official numbers fail to capture the true extent of outbreaks due to inadequate testing, missing cases, or other issues.
In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ordered bars and restaurants to close at midnight and banned pickup sports games among friends and indoor parties. Private home gatherings of more than six people who do not live together are also discouraged.
"Our goal is clear: We have to prevent our country from falling into a general lockdown again," said Conte.
Italy reported that over 5,900 people tested positive and 41 people died the previous day. That took the country's official COVID-19 number to more than 36,200, the second highest in Europe after the UK.
The outbreak has spread to the annual Giro d & # 39; Italia, which was in chaos after several top riders retired from cycling after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Italy last week mandated outdoor masks, a requirement that is already in place in Spain, Turkey, India and a few other Asian countries.
In other parts of Europe, such mandates apply in many places in Poland and in hot-spot cities such as Paris and Brussels and are being introduced in several German cities.
In France, where infections have increased rapidly, Paris, Marseille and seven other major cities have been put on alert, leading to the closure of bars, gyms and swimming pools.
Public celebrations are prohibited, and restaurants must keep tables at least 1 meter apart, with guests limited to six.
PARIS, FRANCE: Cyclists pass the Au Chat Noir bar, which has been closed due to stricter restrictions due to the coronavirus in Paris
BERLIN, GERMANY: A bar owner closes in a bar in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district. Together with other bar owners in Berlin, he has challenged the local authorities to reinstate a curfew for bars in the capital
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC: A street clock is reflected in the mirror behind empty tables and chairs in a closed restaurant in the Prague Municipal House. The Czech Republic closes all schools until November 2nd
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki urged the country's citizens to observe social distancing and wear masks when he himself went into quarantine after contacting someone who later tested positive for COVID-19. In a video message, he said that his government was working as usual and that he had no symptoms.
In Poland, a country with around 38 million inhabitants, the number of newly registered infections has risen sharply. Almost 5,100 cases and 63 deaths were reported on Tuesday. In the summer there were around 600 new daily cases.
Some doctors warn that if the current rate of new cases continues, the chronically underfunded Polish healthcare system could collapse.
In the UK, which has suffered the deadliest outbreak in Europe with a population of more than 43,000, officials defended their new system in an attempt to strike the right balance. Under the plan unveiled this week, Liverpool is in the highest risk category and its pubs, gyms and betting shops have closed.
"The Prime Minister needs to protect people's lives and the National Health Service (NHS) from the virus, while prioritizing things that are important to us as a society, such as education and keeping as many people as possible in employment," said Community Secretary Robert Jenrick BBC.
The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the UK has more than tripled in the past three weeks, with infection rates increasing in all age groups and regions.
To keep people and goods moving across the European Union, member states approved a color-coded system on Tuesday.
Countries have agreed not to restrict people traveling between green spaces – where infection rates are low – but EU governments will continue to set their own restrictions such as quarantines or mandatory tests on arrival for people coming from orange or red zones .
KRAKOW, POLAND: A couple arrive to enter the Four Music Club in the heart of the old town's nightlife. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki urged the country's citizens to observe social distancing and wear masks
LIVERPOOL, UK: Liverpool is in the highest risk category and its pubs, gyms and betting shops have been closed under a new plan unveiled this week by the UK government
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's decentralized government will impose stricter COVID-19 restrictions, First Minister Arlene Foster said after a rapid spread of cases Tuesday led to the cancellation of election operations across Belfast.
Die von Großbritannien geführte Region hat sich in den letzten Wochen zu einer der größten COVID-19-Brutstätten Europas entwickelt. Sein Gesundheitsminister beschrieb die Situation am vergangenen Freitag als von Stunde zu Stunde ernster und sagte, weitere Einschränkungen seien wahrscheinlich.
Die obligatorische Regierung zur Aufteilung der Macht unter der Führung der Rivalen Sinn Fein und der Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) war sich jedoch in der Öffentlichkeit nicht einig darüber, wie streng neue Maßnahmen sein sollten, und die Minister trafen sich noch am späten Dienstag, um die Antwort abzuschließen.
Die Maßnahmen werden am Mittwoch um 09:30 Uhr GMT im Regionalparlament bekannt gegeben, heißt es auf der Website des Parlaments.
"Was auch immer wir einrichten, es wird nur für einen begrenzten Zeitraum geschehen, damit wir den Weg aus den Einschränkungen finden, die eingeführt werden müssen", sagte Foster vom DUP in einem Video, das auf ihrer Facebook-Seite veröffentlicht wurde.
Foster sagte, es sei wichtig, dass „langfristige“ Schulschließungen vermieden würden. Lokale Medien berichteten, dass eine zweiwöchige Schließung von Schulen in Betracht gezogen wird, was die härtesten Einschränkungen im gesamten Vereinigten Königreich darstellen könnte.
Die Beschränkungen in Nordirland sind derzeit nicht so streng wie in vielen anderen Regionen Großbritanniens oder jenseits der offenen Grenze in Irland.
Der Belfast Health and Social Care Trust gab zuvor bekannt, dass er Wahloperationen in der Hauptstadt für den Rest der Woche wegen eines Anstiegs der COVID-19-Zulassungen absagen werde
Die wichtigste COVID-19-Einrichtung der Stadt, das Mater-Krankenhaus, betreute am Dienstag 10 beatmete Patienten, einer weniger als die Kapazität, sagte der Trust und fügte hinzu, dass in den kommenden Tagen wahrscheinlich mehr Patienten eine kritische Versorgung benötigen werden.
Das nordirische Gesundheitsamt meldete am Dienstag 863 neue COVID-19-Fälle und sieben weitere Todesfälle, was die kumulierte Infektionsrate von sieben Tagen pro 100.000 Menschen auf 334,1 erhöht.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus (t) Alkohol