Emmanuel Macron the President of France Announced lockdown on Wednesday until at least December 1, as a massive second wave of coronavirus infections threatened to overwhelm Europe before the winter.
“We in Europe are all surprised by the propagation of the virus,” Macron said in a televised address to the nation.
“The virus is circulating in France at a speed that even the most pessimistic forecasts had not anticipated,” he said, adding that the number of infections had doubled in less than two weeks.
Anyone leaving their home will have to carry a special document justifying being outside, which can be checked by police, Macron said.
The lockdown was effective at containing the epidemic, but the virus started spreading again after relaxing rules starting May 11. France on Tuesday reported 523 new deaths from coronavirus over the previous 24 hours, the highest daily toll since April, when the virus was at its most severe. Doctors have warned that intensive care units risk becoming overwhelmed
Effective from November 2nd private gatherings will be limited to 10 people from a maximum of two households in Germany. The restaurants, theater, and gym will be shut and the concert will be canceled. But schools, daycare centers, and churches can remain open. People will be asked not to travel for private non-essential reasons and overnight stays at hotels will only be available for necessary business trips.
Germany’s restrictions will be reassessed in two weeks’ time, the CNN report added.
The new measures echo the eight-week lockdown that France enforced in the spring when hospitalizations and deaths caused by the COVID-19 epidemic reached a peak. But unlike the previous lockdown, most schools are to remain open, Macron said.
He admitted that a curfew for Paris and other major cities imposed two weeks ago had failed to stop the second wave of cases that has sent the death count in France to nearly 35,000.
As elsewhere in Europe, we are overwhelmed by a second wave that will probably be more difficult and deadly than the first,” Macron said.
“If in two weeks, we have the situation under better control, we will be able to re-evaluate things and hopefully open some businesses, in particular for the Christmas holiday,” he said.
“If we did nothing… within a few months we would have at least 400,000 additional deaths,” he said.
“Stay at home as much as possible, and respect the rules,” he urged.
“Let’s just hope that this time it really works,” he said.