Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

France and Germany thrust into lockdown as second COVID-19 wave sweeps Europe

WorldOct 28, 2020 04:56PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. Unicorns are seen on display in front of a store in city center prior to an ordered lock-down due to the further spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pfarrkirchen 2/2

By Andreas Rinke and Sudip Kar-Gupta

BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered their countries back into lockdown on Wednesday, as a massive second wave of coronavirus infections threatened to overwhelm Europe before the winter.

World stock markets went into a dive in response to the news that Europe's biggest economies were imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations.

"The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated," Macron said in a televised address. "Like all our neighbours, we are submerged by the sudden acceleration of the virus."

"We are all in the same position: overrun by a second wave which we know will be harder, more deadly than the first," he said. "I have decided that we need to return to the lockdown which stopped the virus."

Under the new French measures which come into force on Friday, people will be required to stay in their homes except to buy essential goods, seek medical attention, or exercise for up to one hour a day. They will be permitted to go to work if their employer deems it impossible for them to do the job from home. Schools will stay open.

As in the darkest days of spring, anyone leaving their home in France will now have to carry a document justifying being outside, which can be checked by police.

Germany will shut bars, restaurants and theatres from Nov. 2-30 under measures agreed between Merkel and heads of regional governments. Schools will stay open, and shops will be allowed to operate with strict limits on access.

"We need to take action now," Merkel said. "Our health system can still cope with this challenge today, but at this speed of infections it will reach the limits of its capacity within weeks."

Her finance minister, Olaf Scholz, posted on Twitter: "November will be a month of truth. The increasing numbers of infections are forcing us to take tough countermeasures in order to break the second wave."

France has surged above 36,000 new cases a day. Germany, which was less hard-hit than its European neighbours early this year, has seen an exponential rise in cases.

In the United States, a new wave of infections has been setting records with six days to go until Election Day. President Donald Trump has played down the virus and shows no sign of cancelling public rallies where his supporters often refuse to wear masks or keep a safe distance.

European stock markets closed at their lowest levels since late May on Wednesday. In the United States, the S&P 500 was down 3%.

In an effort to blunt the economic impact, Germany will set aside up to 10 billion euros ($12 billion) to partly reimburse companies for lost sales. Italy has set aside more than 5 billion euros.

IF WE WAIT IT WILL BE TOO LATE

While leaders have been desperate to avoid the crippling cost of lockdowns, the new restrictions reflect alarm at the galloping pace of the pandemic from Spain, France and Germany to Russia, Poland and Bulgaria.

"If we wait until the intensive care units are full, it will be too late," said German Health Minister Jens Spahn, whose country already has taken in patients from its neighbour the Netherlands, where hospitals have reached their limits.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said on Wednesday that hospital beds were at 90% of capacity in 16 regions of the country, while officials have warned that even well-equipped health systems like those in France and Switzerland could reach breaking point within days.

Hopes that new treatments might curb the spread were dented when the head of Britain's vaccine procurement task force said that a fully effective vaccine may never be developed and that early versions were likely to be imperfect.

The latest figures from the World Health Organization on Tuesday showed Europe reported 1.3 million new cases in the past seven days, nearly half the 2.9 million reported worldwide, with over 11,700 deaths, a 37% jump over the previous week.

So far, more than 42 million cases and more than 1.1 million deaths have been recorded worldwide from the virus, which was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year.

Governments across Europe have been under fire for a lack of coordination and for failing to use a lull in cases over the summer to bolster defences, leaving hospitals unprepared.

Since the weekend, police and protesters have clashed repeatedly in Italian cities from Naples to Turin. Restaurant owners and business groups have been critical.

"At 6 p.m. public transport is often crowded. You take the risk because you have to get to work. You wear a mask, you take hand gel with you," Elio Venafro said after getting off a bus in central Rome on Wednesday. "It's the new normal."

France and Germany thrust into lockdown as second COVID-19 wave sweeps Europe
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (5)
Dark Side of the moon
Dark Side of the moon Oct 28, 2020 5:04PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
...do not forget AL, where dictators in Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brasil have beeing hiding at least half of the real cases and deaths...:(
John Thompson
John Thompson Oct 28, 2020 4:51PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
They opened too fast in June all political and business leaders heads must roll now big time they all at fault
Llewellyn Kruger
Llewellyn Kruger Oct 28, 2020 4:25PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
So how long do you think these governments will try hide from this? Locking down for something with a 0.02% mortality rate...
David David
David9 Oct 28, 2020 2:39PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
The Orangutan said we are rounding the corner....
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Oct 28, 2020 10:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Lockdown just delay, slow the spread. It is not the cure.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email