President Emmanuel Macron has declared a national lockdown in France to curtail the second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Macron said that new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions will be in place in France from Friday, which dictate that people can only leave home for essential work or medical reasons. Night curfews will also be in place, as is the case in several other countries. More than 33,000 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in France on Tuesday, with daily deaths at their highest levels since April.
“The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated,” Macron said in his address to the nation on Wednesday, as reported by BBC. “Like in the spring, you will be able to leave your house only to work, for a medical appointment, to provide assistance to a relative, to shop for essential goods or to go for a walk near your house.”
He added that France is currently at risk of being “overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first” – sentiments that are being echoed by other leaders throughout Europe. This weekend, Spain declared a national state of emergency that will be in place until May next year. Germany is also imposing a second lockdown, although their’s will be less restrictive, but includes the closure of restaurants, gyms and theatres.
Meanwhile, the number of people infected is doubling every nine days in England, with nearly 100,000 people catching COVID-19 every day, according to a study by Imperial College London. Official figures indicate that almost 250,000 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded throughout Europe yesterday while more than 2,500 people lost their lives.
As France enters its renewed COVID-19 lockdown, while new restrictions are being imposed in Europe’s other major economies, there have been massive losses in Europe’s biggest financial markets, including a 2.6% drop on the UK’s FTSE 100 and a 4.2% fall for Germany’s Dax.