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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - European nations from Denmark in the north to Greece in the south announced new restrictions on Friday to curb surging coronavirus infections in some of their largest cities, and Britain was considering a new national lockdown.
Cases in the United Kingdom almost doubled to 6,000 per day in the latest reporting week, hospital admissions rose and infection rates soared across parts of northern England and London.
Asked by Sky News about the possibility of a second national lockdown next month, British Health Minister Matt Hancock said it should be seen only as a last resort but the government would do whatever it took to tackle the virus. "The number of people in hospital is doubling every eight days or so ... we will do what it takes to keep people safe," he said. "We keep these things under review." Britain imposed new Covid regulations on the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire from Tuesday.
Infections have climbed steadily across most of Europe over the last two months. Intensive care admissions and deaths have also begun to tick up, especially in Spain and France.
In Spain, which has seen more cases than any other European country, officials in Madrid ordered a lockdown from Monday in some of the poorer areas of the city after a surge in coronavirus infections there.
Authorities in the southern French city of Nice banned gatherings of more than 10 people in public spaces and restricted bar opening hours, following fresh curbs introduced earlier this week in Marseilles and Bordeaux.
In Denmark, where the 454 new cases on Friday was close to a record of 473 in April, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the limit on public gatherings would be lowered to 50 people from 100 and ordered restaurants to close early.
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