New screw-up in Europe: private meetings inside are now banned in London and in several other areas of England. The evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe is considered “very worrying” by the World Health Organization.
As the Covid-19 continues to affect politicians around the world, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen left the leaders’ summit, which had just started in Brussels, on Thursday to self-quarantine, after a case of Covid-19 in his team.
The Democratic candidate for the vice-president of the United States, Kamala Harris, meanwhile, suspended her travel until Sunday due to cases of Covid-19 in her entourage.
In Europe, “the number of cases per day is increasing, so are hospital admissions. Covid is now the fifth leading cause of death and the threshold of one thousand deaths per day has been reached”, although the situation is not similar to that of March-April, said the director of the WHO European branch, Hans Kluge.
The WHO warns that death levels “four to five times higher than in April” could occur “by January”, if “prolonged strategies to ease” restrictions are carried out.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 1.09 million people around the world since the end of December, according to a report established by AFP on Thursday from official sources. In Europe, where it killed 245,948, it is experiencing a strong rebound, leading states to tighten their health measures.
Alert in Great Britain
New restrictions, the British government on Thursday raised the alert level for London and seven other areas in England (Essex, Elmbridge, Barrow in Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Erewash), prohibiting some eleven million inhabitants additional to meet friends and family indoors starting Saturday.
“The coronavirus is deadly and it is now spreading exponentially in the UK,” Health Minister Matt Hancock said Thursday in the House of Commons, lower house of Parliament, announcing that London and other areas were climbing d ‘a step up to the “high” level.
“Everyone at home” in France
This level implies that members of different households, regardless of their number, no longer have the right to meet indoors, whether at home or inside pubs or restaurants. They are still allowed to meet, but outdoors only and in groups of up to six people, children included.
Nearly 20,000 new cases were recorded in the United Kingdom on Wednesday as well as 137 deaths, with deaths reaching their highest level since June in recent days.
In France, faced with the worsening of the epidemic, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday that the inhabitants of Paris and its region, as well as eight other large metropolises, that is to say twenty million French people, will be subjected from Saturday a nighttime curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. France had not experienced a curfew of this magnitude since World War II.
“At 9:00 p.m., everyone should be at home,” Prime Minister Jean Castex detailed Thursday. “All places, businesses or services open to the public will be closed”. The Prime Minister also announced that “all private parties” held “in multipurpose rooms or any other establishment open to the public will be prohibited” throughout the country, and that all restaurants in France will have to apply a reinforced health protocol .
New restrictions in Germany
In Germany too, the situation is worrying: a record number of daily cases (6,638, against a previous maximum of 6,294 cases on March 28) was announced on Thursday, and Chancellor Angela Merkel presented new restrictions after a meeting with officials from the sixteen regional states.
For example, the number of participants in private events will be limited in regions recording more than 35 new contaminations per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days. In these areas, masks will be mandatory wherever people are close to each other for a period of time.