Europe tightens coronavirus measures amid sharp rise in cases

Europe tightens coronavirus measures amid sharp rise in cases
Czech school pupils will continue their learning at home. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The Czech Republic is imposing a three-week partial lockdown shutting bars, clubs and schools, as Europe struggles to contain a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases.

The country has the region’s highest new Covid-19 infection rate per 100,000 people. Public consumption of alcohol is banned and restaurants will be closed.

A partial lockdown was announced in the Netherlands, and masks have become compulsory in public indoor spaces.

Sharp rise in coronavirus cases and hospital admissions are rising fast again in many countries in Europe.

Hospitals in France’s capital Paris could have 90% of their intensive care beds filled by the end next week, the head of public hospital group APHP, Martin Hirsch, warned.

President Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce further coronavirus restrictions in a televised address on Wednesday. According to local media, cities considered hotspots, including Paris, could face evening curfews.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier she was “watching with great concern” the situation in Europe, and added: “I must say the situation continues to be serious.”

Schools, clubs and bars in the Czech Republic will be closed until 3 November while restaurants will be restricted to deliveries and takeaways, until 20:00.

All school lessons will continue at home via the internet and university dorms are also being closed temporarily. Kindergartens will stay open and special provision will be made for the children of critical care workers.

The four-week partial lockdown in the Netherlands will see bars, terraces, cannabis cafes and restaurants being shut from Wednesday night, and only takeaway services will be allowed. Grocery stores are banned from selling alcohol after 20:00.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a news conference: “It hurts but it’s the only way, we have to be stricter.”

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