To Save Christmas, Parts of Europe are Back on Virus Lockdown

The continent is battling a second COVID-19 wave.
Photo/s: Unsplash

PARIS -- France joined Ireland and Wales Wednesday as the third European country to go back into lockdown.

As governments struggle to cope with a second wave of the coronavirus, we look at the new measures being taken.

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Ireland became the first to lock down its citizens for a second time Thursday. Its almost five million people have been told to stay at home for six weeks.

Wales, its neighbor across the Irish Sea, followed suit on Friday, with a two-week circuit-breaker lockdown.

France goes back into a month-long shutdown Friday, but schools will stay open in all three countries this time.

Some 150,000 people scattered over three virus-hit districts in northern Portugal have also been locked down.


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'Saving Christmas'

Germany also imposed drastic new curbs Wednesday, closing its bars, cafes, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and sports facilities for a month from Monday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also limited gatherings to 10 people from two households.

While stopping short of a lockdown, Germans were urged to stay at home to save Christmas.

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Double shutdowns

Beyond Europe, Israel, Lebanon New Zealand and some parts of the Philippines have also had to go into a second lockdown. Australia's second city Melbourne finally exited its second confinement on Wednesday.


While full-blown second lockdowns are still rare, curfews are shutting down great swathes of Europe at night.

Before ratcheting up its restrictions Wednesday, France imposed curfews on its biggest cities on October 17 before spreading them out to cover two-thirds of the country's population a week later.


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Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, Slovakia and Czech Republic have since declared national curfews, while Italy and Greece have declared regional and metropolitan ones.

Many countries and cities have also required mask-wearing in public, with bars forced to close and sports and cultural gatherings also restricted.

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