Coronavirus: France Under Lockdown, Germany Closing Clubs and Restaurants

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(— October 29, 2020) —  France is returning to the lockdown at a national level starting on Friday, October 30, in an effort to suppress the COVID-19 pandemic, which is again threatening to spin out of control, said President Emanuel Macron.

The lockdown will last until December 1, and the new measures announced by the French president mean that people will have to stay at home, except for shopping for basic necessities, a doctor, or a one-hour daily exercise.

In his address to the nation, Macron said that people will still be able to go to work if the employer cannot provide working conditions from home and, unlike the blockade in March, most schools will remain open.

“The virus is circulating at a speed that even the most pessimistic forecasts did not predict. Like our neighbors, we are in the middle of a sudden acceleration of the spread of the virus. We are all in the same position, overwhelmed by another wave that we know will be more deadly than the first,” Macron said.

In the past 24 hours, 523 deaths from the coronavirus have been registered in France, which is the highest death toll since April. More than 35,000 people have died in France since the pandemic began.

Germany will close bars, restaurants, cultural and sports institutions within the next month as part of new drastic restrictive measures against the coronavirus pandemic, said Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The strict measures apply to the entire country and contacts should be limited as much as possible in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the chancellor said, adding that schools and kindergartens will remain open.

According to Merkel, professional sports competitions will be held indoors, while amateur competitions will be banned, during November.

Merkel said the government would implement a new emergency program of up to ten billion Euros to help the sectors of the economy most affected by the restrictive measures.