Back to basics: Countries in Europe reimpose lockdowns as COVID-19 cases surge
Many European nations are witnessing the second wave of novel coronavirus. is seeing a second wave of coronavirus.
In the recent month, however, there has been a sudden surge of infections around Europe. The second wave of COVID-19 here is far worse than the first. Experts predict multiple reasons for the wave. Some think that a general lowering of guard after the numbers began to slope in the summer and the drop in temperature that would be allowing most activities indoors. Another reason could be the cold, dry weather helping the infection survive longer and remain potent, though the evidence on that is not decisive.
Europe is seeing a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases, compelling nations to reimpose restrictions in a bid to curtail the further spread of the contagion. Here are the nations around the continent who are under lockdown now:
France entered a new lockdown recently as the resurgent infections increasingly forced other countries to consider following suit. President Emmanuel Macron has cautioned that the second wave "will probably be more difficult and deadly than the first" in a nation that has already reported 36,000 fatalities.
Germany which reported a rapid increase in the new cases is in the list too. In a televised address, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the new lockdown measures stating the Federal Government had come to an agreement with states to lock down the entire nation from Monday for at least two weeks.
Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson on Saturday announced a new four-week COVID-19 lockdown across England, a sudden shift in policy following warnings hospitals would become overwhelmed within weeks under his current system of localised restrictions.
Under the severe new rules set to come into force from Thursday, people must stay at home except in cases where exceptions apply, such as for work, education or exercise, while all but essential shops will close.
Austria will also enter a second national lockdown from Tuesday till November 30, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz declared on Saturday.
"You know we are seeing an intense second wave all over Europe," said Kurz at a press conference, adding that many neighboring nations are already in a second lockdown. With an almost ‘explosive increase’ of new cases in Austria recently, there must be "hard measures," the Chancellor informed.
Portugal joins the list too. The country witnessed a sudden outburst of cases and has therefore decided to reimpose strict lockdown to stop the further spread. The lockdown is being reimposed mainly in Lisbon, under which people will no longer be able to leave their houses except for shopping for essential or emergencies.
The Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said, "COVID has not gone and will not disappear as long as there is no treatment or vaccine and until we are all vaccinated.”
Though South Korea is not a European nation, the country has taken strict measures in its capital Seoul and surrounding areas. The stricter social distancing norms include restrictions on gatherings and activities such as professional sports, which will be played in empty stadiums in the capital area again.