covid-19
Children in masks and face shields at Claude Debussy college in Angers, western France, on May 18, 2020. DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images

  • France and Spain record their biggest daily spikes in new coronavirus infections in weeks.
  • Spain recorded its highest number of daily cases since June on Wednesday, while France recorded the highest increase since May.
  • The latest figures come amid warnings that second wave of the virus has already started across Europe.
  • The French government's top scientific body this week warned that France risked tipping into a situation like Spain's, and said a second wave was highly likely later this year.
  • Countries across Europe have struggled to contain rising daily infection rates as they eased lockdown measures in a bid to revive economies which have faltered since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

France and Spain have recorded big daily spikes in new coronavirus infections amid fears that Europe is undergoing a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Countries across Europe have struggled to contain rising daily infection rates as they eased lockdown measures in a bid to revive economies which have faltered since the beginning of the pandemic.

France recorded 1,695 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours by Wednesday, the highest increase in the country since May 30. Meanwhile, Spain announced 1,772 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily spike since its lockdown measures were lifted in June.

The increasing case rate also comes after a German doctors' union warned on Tuesday that a second wave of infections had already arrived in Germany.

The UK government is currently advising against all but essential travel in Spain, and holiday-makers returning from there are required to quarantine for 14 days once they arrive under measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month.

The surge in cases in France raises the prospect that Downing Street could introduce similar measures for people travelling there. The French government's top scientific body this week warned that France risked tipping into a situation like Spain's, and said a second wave was highly likely later this year.

"The situation is precarious and we could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control, like in Spain," said the French scientific committee in a statement published by the government's health ministry, which was reported by Reuters.

"It is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter," the statement said.

Susanne Johna, head of Germany's doctors' union, the Marburger Bund, said this week that the country was "already in a second, shallow uprising."

The number of new daily cases in Germany passed 1,000 on Thursday for the first time since early May, amid warnings that the general public is failing to follow social distancing guidelines.

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