Coronavirus: Europe sets restrictions again | News | DW

Coronavirus: Europe sets restrictions again | News | DW
Coronavirus: Europe sets restrictions again | News | DW
Countries across Europe are taking new measures this week to fight the spread of the coronavirus as infections surge and new case numbers hit record highs in the European Union.

Polish authorities ordered schools and restaurants to be closed for two weeks, while France extended the curfew to more than two-thirds of the population and the German capital introduced new requirements for wearing masks on busy streets.

Germany issues new travel warnings, mask mandate in Berlin

The German capital and one of the country’s top virus hotspots, Berlin, introduced new restrictions on Saturday requiring face masks in markets and on 10 particularly busy streets, in shopping malls and in queues.

Continue reading: Coronavirus digest: deaths in Germany exceed 10,000

The city will also deploy over 1,000 police officers to enforce the new rules. Germany posted record numbers last week. On Saturday morning, 14,714 cases were reported over a 24-hour period.

As infections are increasing across Europe, the German Foreign Ministry has also declared Switzerland and Poland to be risk areas. This means that travelers are tested on their return to Germany and have to enter a mandatory quarantine. Germany has recorded over 426,000 cases and 10,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

Poland partially enters

Poles woke up to an official text message on Saturday asking them to stay home and help the elderly when the country entered a “red zone”.

The new measures include a two-week closure of elementary schools, restaurants, fitness clubs and other facilities. Under the restrictions, restaurants can only serve take-away meals.

Gatherings are also limited to five people, with no weddings and messages restricting the number of people who can enter shops, use public transport, and attend church services. The new measures come after Poland recorded the highest number of all cases on Friday with over 13,000 new infections.

Continue reading: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for coronavirus

France announces curfew

France, one of the European countries hardest hit by the first wave of pandemics, imposed a curfew from midnight on Friday that extends to over two-thirds of the population, or 46 million people.

President Emmanuel Macron said he had no choice but to extend the curfew to 54 departments and one overseas territory. The government extended the curfew, which restricts travel from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., to 38 additional departments after restricting nine metropolitan areas last week.

France has imposed a night curfew in large parts of the country

“At this stage we are, given the number of infections per day, we have no choice but to reduce our social life as much as possible … if we really want to preserve our health system and our fellow citizens,” said Macron. France has recorded over a million cases and 34,500 deaths since the pandemic began.

Denmark concludes meetings

The Danish government announced on Friday a ban on evening alcohol sales and tightened the limit on public gatherings. The sale of alcohol will be banned from Monday after 10 p.m. – a measure that will remain in place until January 2nd.

Meanwhile, officials reduced the number of people allowed to attend gatherings from 50 to 10, and introduced a face mask requirement that applies to indoor areas such as supermarkets and movie theaters.

Across the EU, states are taking various steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus

Denmark will also tighten its border controls through January, suggesting that commuters crossing borders may have longer waiting times. Denmark, a country of 5.8 million people, has recorded around 38,600 cases and nearly 700 deaths since the pandemic began.

“Coronavirus is not over yet. On the contrary, it is back in full force, ”said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Frederiksen also urged people to limit close contact to fewer than 10 other people outside their own household.

Continue reading: Coronavirus trend: the pandemic is far from over

The Baltic states crouch together

After the Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania posted record levels of infections on Friday, the two countries introduced new measures to combat the virus, including limiting the number of participants at events and new mask requirements.

Latvia on Friday reduced the number of participants in events to 10 people indoors and 100 people outdoors – a measure that will apply from Saturday. From Monday, no more than 300 people can gather in rooms for public and economic events.

Latvia, with a population of 1.9 million, has recorded over 4,200 cases and 49 deaths. Lithuania, which has a population of 2.8 million, has recorded over 9,000 cases and 129 deaths.

Belgians under curfew

Belgium ordered pubs and restaurants to close this week, along with a nightly curfew and strict crowd restrictions. The country, one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, also restricted social contacts on Friday by banning fans of sports games and limiting the number in cultural spaces.

While Belgium has a blanket curfew for the night, another is specific to residents of the French-speaking Wallonia region and requires people to stay at home from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The region has also mandated remote working for students.

Continue reading: Coronavirus: Belgium was hit hard by the second wave of pandemics

The new restrictions also include a limit of 200 people in theaters, concert halls and cinemas and apply until November 19.

“We press the pause button … We have a single goal, which is to limit contacts that are not strictly necessary,” said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo at a press conference. “There is no law that can stop the virus. The only ones who can stop it are us … all together. ”

Belgium, a country of 11 million people, has recorded 287,700 cases and over 10,600 deaths since the pandemic began.

lc / sms (AFP, dpa, Reuters, AP)

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