Published on : Thursday, October 29, 2020
On Wednesday, both Germany and France, two of Europe’s biggest economies announced new nationwide lockdowns as a response to the new wave of COVID-19 cases across the countries. The decision was officially announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, respectively. According to the latest rules, France is set to begin a 4-week lockdown starting Friday, October 30 and Germany will be observing the same starting Monday, November 2.
The announcements arrived as governments across Europe struggled to contain a second wave of the virus in colder weather, even after the relative success of strict lockdown restrictions in the spring. The healthcare system in France has been largely suffering in light of the new outbreak as hospitals continue to be filled on a rapid rate. Meanwhile, Germany has been failing to identify the source of majority infections at present despite being appreciated for its contact tracing program earlier.
Macron announced that the new lockdown will restrict all non-essential activities and residents will be permitted to leave their homes only for essential work. All restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters and other leisure facilities will be closed but schools and workplaces will remain open. People will also be allowed to visit care homes and healthcare facilities. Similarly, restaurants, bars and clubs will also be closed in Germany in order to avoid a national emergency as informed by Merkel.
German residents have been advised to avoid travel and stay at home again and social contacts have been limited to two households in public. Schools and kindergartens will remain open, but strict hygiene measures would be required. While France’s lockdown is likely to remain in force until December 1, Germany will reassess the situation in 2 weeks and take further actions accordingly.