Europe's Covid-19 outbreak is cascading out of control - vast regions are being put on lockdown again
- Europe's coronavirus cases are surging, prompting authorities to impose new restrictions to try to control the virus.
- Paris, London, and other large areas of Europe are being put under renewed restrictions.
- Governments have stopped short of putting entire nations into lockdown again, but admit their earlier, more moderate efforts have not been effective.
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Europe's Covid-19 outbreak is cascading out of control, prompting national authorities to impose harsh restrictions again in the hope of bringing the virus back under control.
This week, the number of new cases recorded in the European Union and the UK each day exceeded those in the US, starkly reversing an earlier trend.
According to EU data, the total number of daily new cases exceeded an average of 80,000 across the 27-nation bloc plus the UK, which left the EU at the beginning of the year.
The return of mass restrictions in Europe brought to an end a summer in which — unlike in the US — the spread of the virus had significantly slowed.
A graph tweeted by the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler showed the stark reversal:
Here is a rundown of the picture across the continent:
France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands all recorded record high cases on October 14 or 15.
Daily case graphs in most European nations look like this one, for France:
In response, governments have imposed extra restrictions, which many hoped would be limited to the nationwide lockdowns of spring:
- The UK has put much of the country, including London, under enhanced restrictions. Different households are banned from meeting indoors, and in especially hard-hit places many businesses have been closed.
- France put around 20 million people in major cities like Paris under curfews.
- Germany has limited gatherings and put a curfew on bars and restaurants in areas including Berlin.
- Italy made it mandatory to wear a mask outside in Rome. It is considering a ban on parties.
- Spain has locked down its capital, Madrid, along with other regions.
- Ireland has limited social gatherings and is only letting pubs and restaurants serve food outdoors.
- Belgium ordered many bars in Brussels, its capital, to close for a month.
- The Netherlands closed all bars, restaurants and coffee shops closed except for takeaways, and limited how many people can visit households.
Despite the rising number of infections recorded, the number of people dying from the virus remains far smaller than earlier in the year.
Possible reasons include better public health measures, the increased ability of healthcare systems to treat people, and the fact that many of the most vulnerable have already died.
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