Europe tightens rules as virus surge

Geneva (AP) – Governments across Europe are imposing sanctions in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus since the epidemic spread as the continent recorded its highest weekly number of new infections.

The World Health Organization said that more than 700,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Europe on Tuesday, a jump of 34% over the previous week, with Britain, France, Russia and Spain reporting new infections. Accounting for more than half of. In area.

The increasing case numbers are partly the result of more testing, but the United Nations Health Agency noted that deaths in the region were also 16% last week compared to the previous week. Doctors are also warning that while many new cases are currently in young people who have symptoms, the virus may again start spreading widely in older populations, resulting in more serious illnesses.

In response to the latest numbers, Italy and France are banning parties and imposing limits on restaurants and bars, which Slovenia is also considering.

The Czech Republic is closing all schools until 2 November, while Latvia is ordering teenagers to switch to distance education for a week.

The UK unveiled a new three-tier system to determine how severe the outbreak is in some areas, depending on what restrictions are imposed.

Those moves reflect a new approach involving the virus among governments that are hurting already weak economies. Even as the transition progresses, officials are eager to avoid a total lockdown imposed in the spring, resulting in massive job losses. Instead, they are relying on regional or targeted sanctions that sometimes cause confusion and frustration by those affected.

The UN’s health agency appeared to support the new approach, which WHO spokesman Tariq Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that the lockdown should be a “last resort”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told an EU advisory body on Tuesday that she was looking at the figures for the growing transition “with great concern”.

“We should not get through the sanctions in a few months now,” Merkel said in a video address to the region’s European committee.

“Neither of us found it easy to enforce those restrictions,” she said. “Many lost their lives, and so it is all the more important that we now ensure that another lockdown will not be necessary, that our health system is not overstrained again.”

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte ordered a ban on pickup games between friends and parties in closed spaces. Private gatherings at homes with more than six people who do not live together are also discouraged.

Like other European countries, Italy is also restricting nightlife, where bars and restaurants close at midnight, and drinking alcohol while standing in bar banned after 9pm

The annual Giro d’Italia was thrown into chaos on Tuesday Several top riders retreated to the cycling race after a series of positive tests for the coronovirus.

Italy made it mandatory to wear masks last week, requiring space in Spain, Turkey, India and already other Asian countries. Elsewhere in Europe, such mandates are effective in many places in Poland and are being introduced in hot cities such as Paris, Brussels and Pristina, Kosovo, and in many German cities.

French President Emmanuel Macron held a meeting with his National Defense Council on Tuesday to focus on the virus. The latest figures have seen rapid growth of infections, especially in large cities.

Paris, Marseille and seven other large cities have been placed under maximum virus alert, resulting in the closure of bars, gyms and swimming pools. Public parties are banned and restaurants have to ensure a minimum distance of 1 meter (3 feet) between tables, with groups of dinners limited to six people.

Polish Prime Minister Matusz Morwiecki urged the citizens of the country to observe social distinctions and wear masks because they themselves were in contact with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.

Morwiki said in a video message that his government was functioning as usual and had no symptoms.

Poland, a country of about 38 million, has seen a sharp increase in new daily registered infections, with 5,068 cases and 63 deaths on Tuesday. In summer, the new daily cases were around 600, but the number quickly began to increase after the end of the holiday.

Some doctors are warning that a chronically low health care system may give if current rates of new cases continue.

In Britain, which faced the deadliest outbreak in Europe, officials defended His new system as the perfect balance. As part of the plan to be unveiled on Monday night, the northern city of Liverpool is in the highest-risk category and its pubs, gyms and betting shops have closed.

“The Prime Minister has kept a balance between protecting the lives of the people and the NHS (National Health Service) from the virus, while also prioritizing the things that are important to us as a society, such as education and as many as possible Keeping people in employment, “community secretary Robert Genrich told the BBC on Tuesday

The number of UK confirmed COVID-19 cases has more than tripled in the past three weeks, with infection rates increasing across all age groups and regions. The highest infection rates are in the northeast and northwest.

Travel restrictions are the most damaging for economies. In an effort to avoid placing people and goods across the European Union, member states on Tuesday approved a traffic light system.

The countries agreed not to ban people traveling between so-called green areas – where the number of virus infections is low – but EU governments have their own restrictions for people coming from orange or red areas, such as quarantine Or will continue mandatory testing upon arrival. .

Under the criteria adopted on Tuesday, most areas of the European Union will be either red or orange.


Jordan reported from Berlin. Associated Press writers from across Europe contributed.


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