France, Germany Announce National Lockdowns

Image Source: Xinhua/Gao Jing
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Europe’s two biggest economies – France and Germany have announced partial lockdowns, as a surge in coronavirus cases may lead to the second wave of a covid strike during the winters.

Both, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a four-week lockdown starting on Friday and Monday respectively, several news outlets reported.

Macron announced the French measures on Wednesday evening, saying existing restrictions were “not enough anymore.” By mid-November, all intensive care beds could be taken by Covid-19 patients unless a “brake” is put on the virus, he warned as reported in a CNN report.

Under the French lockdown, people will need a certificate to move around. Non-essential businesses, restaurants, and bars will be closed, the report said.

“Schools and workplaces will remain open, and care homes visits will be allowed. However, people will only be allowed outside to go to work, to go to a medical appointment, to care for a relative, to do shop for essential goods, and to get some air,” Macron said.

“The virus is circulating at a speed that even the most pessimistic had not predicted,” he said.

France’s lockdown will last until December 1 at “minimum,” according to Macron.

“German restaurants, bars, and clubs will also be closed in order to avoid a national health emergency,” according to Merkel.

“People residing in Germany are advised to stay home, avoid travel and keep their contacts to an absolute minimum,” she said, and added, ” Social contacts will be limited to two households in public. Schools and kindergartens will remain open, but have to take strict hygiene measure to do so”.

Germany’s restrictions will be reassessed in two weeks time, the CNN report added.

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