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France and Germany Have Imposed New Lockdowns, Here’s What To Know
France and Germany have announced new nationwide lockdowns as Europe tries to get a grip on a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said government officials have agreed to a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters, and more.
German leaders said the decision to shutdown came hours after the country’s disease control agency recorded more than 14,900 new confirmed cases. Germany has a national total of 449,275 confirmed cases and 10,098 deaths as of Oct. 29.
The shutdown will remain in effect until the end of November but some shops and schools will remain open during Germany’s second shutdown. Restaurants will be open for takeout.
“We can say that our health system can cope with the challenge today,” said Merkel. “But if the pace of infections continues like this, then we’ll reach the limits of what the health system can manage within weeks.”
A Grim Turn In France
France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced a second lockdown in France to get a hold of the increasing confirmed cases.
More than half of France’s intensive care units are filled to capacity with COVID-19 patients, NBC News is reporting.
French military and commercial planes are carrying the critically ill virus patients to other regions as hospitals fill up.
The lockdown in France will last until the end of November, but Macron warns it could last longer.
Macron said that under the new lockdown restrictions, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons. A curfew has also been imposed.
Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will close, but schools and factories will remain open.
Across Europe, infections are rising sharply.
The World Health Organization said that the European region accounted for almost half of the 2.8 million new coronavirus cases reported globally the week of Oct. 19.