France, Germany Announces Second Nationwide Lockdown

France and Germany have announced Second nationwide lockdowns in an effort to curb the surge in COVID19 cases and deaths. President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that his country’s widely-expected measures will start this Friday and last until 1 December. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said that her nation will enter a four-week lockdown starting from 2 November.

In France, the month-long measures will include ‘stay at home’ order except to exercise for one hour a day, seek medical care or buy essential goods. The restaurants & bars along with all the non-essential shops will remain close. People found outside their homes will have to carry a document justifying their excursion. Although, the office of the French Prime Minister has confirmed that people will be allowed only up to 1km from their home.

However in Germany, the new restrictions follow similar plans laid out earlier by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which will be reviewed after two weeks. Mrs Merkel said schools, nurseries, and day care centres will stay open. She also “wants to make sure” nursing homes can still have visitors during the lockdown. She said the “tough measures” were necessary to prevent hospitals being overwhelmed as Germany faces soaring coronavirus deaths and cases. The chancellor said the number of filled intensive care beds had doubled in 10 days. In Germany, track and trace efforts had become inundated with new cases, leaving the origin of three quarters of infections a mystery. While the virus is growing exponentially and the “doubling of cases has become faster,” Mrs Merkel said she believed this short lockdown could slow it down and ensure hospitals can continue to cope.

France and Germany are far from alone in their mounting worry over the rapidly spreading pandemic. According to WHO, Europe has seen a 35% spike in deaths in the last seven days compared to the previous week. Belgium, Netherland, most of Spain and the Czech Republic are seeing similar high infection rates.