Story at a glance

  • The World Health Organization showcases the rise of new cases in European countries, namely the U.K., France and Russia.
  • The reopening of some social spaces, including restaurants and university campuses, helped fuel a second surge in new cases.

Multiple European countries are announcing greater public health restrictions in response to increased coronavirus transmission across the continent. 

Along with the Americas, Europe is experiencing an uptick in new cases following a slowdown during summer months after initial outbreaks in February and the following spring. Reuters reported Wednesday that many European governments gradually eased lockdowns during the summer months to help support struggling economies. 

The reopening of some social spaces, including restaurants and university campuses, helped fuel a second surge in new cases — not unlike the wave of new infections hitting the U.S.


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Data from Johns Hopkins University notes that Russia, Spain, France and the U.K. are leading with the majority of new cases. Each of their epidemiological curves are showing steep increases, with new daily cases surpassing previous records observed at the onset of the pandemic. 

Cumulatively, the countries have recorded more than 882,000 new cases over the past seven days, per World Health Organization (WHO) data

The WHO said Monday that each of the last four days have seen the highest number of cases reported so far. During the week of Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, the number of new cases in Europe increased by 11 percent compared to the previous week. 

Lockdowns on social spaces will vary depending on the country; The Associated Press reports that Italy and France will restrict social gatherings and reimpose capacity limits on bars and restaurants. France will also shut down gyms and swimming pools.

The Netherlands has issued stricter lockdowns, closing all eating establishments and banning the sale of alcohol after 8 p.m.

The U.K., which leads the continent in the number of COVID-19-related deaths, has implemented a new tiered approach that places different regions in different risk levels. 

“The prime minister has to balance protecting people’s lives and the NHS (National Health Service) from the virus while also prioritizing things that matter to us as a society, like education and keeping as many people in employment as possible,” Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick reportedly told the BBC.

Russia, meanwhile, had lifted lockdown measures in June, according to The Guardian, and has yet to reimpose shutdown measures. 


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Published on Oct 14, 2020