Covid ‘back with full force’ as Germany sees record cases, France expands curfews and Italy and Spain expand lockdowns

COVID-19 is "back with full force" as Germany sees record cases and France, Italy and Spain rush to enforce stricter measures.

The state premier of Bavaria warned today that the Coronavirus is at risk of spiralling out of control in Germany.

Despite Germany's infection rates being lower than other spots in Europe, the country, cases have been accelerating and hit a daily record of 7,830 on Saturday.

France introduced a new night-time curfew in nine cities across the country on October 17 as the number of people in ICU rose above 2,000 for the first time since May.

The new rules state 22 million people have been forced to stay at home between 9pm and 6am.

Italy is urging people to stay at home after seeing the first three-figure jump since May 30.

The Czech Republic is the first country in Europe to announce a new national lockdown.

“Corona is back with full force … the second wave is here,” Markus Soeder, leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), told the Bavarian state assembly, adding caution and prudence were required.

On Tuesday, residents in Berchtesgadener Land went back into lockdown – the first in the country to do so since April.

Soeder said he plans on keeping the boarders open to neighbouring countries including Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic to keep the economy functioning.

He also said he plans on keeping schools and nurseries open for as long as possible.

“Our priority is to avoid a blanket lockdown,” he told the Bavarian state assembly, adding that he would introduce a “dark red” alert level with tougher restrictions for areas in Bavaria that have 100 new cases per 100,000 people over seven days.

In Berlin, which is one of the hot spots for a steep rise in infections, restaurants and bars must close at 11pm and private parties and gatherings are limited to 10 people.

Five people or members of two households are allowed to gather outside and only in the evening.

In France, the cities in the country affected by the new rules include: Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Saint-Etienne, Rouen, Toulouse, Grenoble and Montpellier.

Schools will remain open and travel between regions will be allowed during the day.

Only six people are allowed to gather inside private homes.

In Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne became "maximum alert" zones from October 10 – with bars and restaurants being forced to close.

In the country's capital, anyone over the age of 11 must wear face coverings.

In Spain, the northern region of Navarre went into a partial lockdown from October 22 – for two weeks.

The number of cases per 100,000 people is 945 in Navarre, against 312 nationally.

People will only be allowed in and out of the area for work, university studies, family care and emergencies, according to the regional government.

Restaurants, cafes and bars will be closed, but shops may stay open at 40 per cent capacity and will have to close at 9pm.

In Catalonia, a partial lockdown was also introduced on October 15 where bars and restaurants were forced to close.

Italy is also urging people to stay at home again as a new record of 15,199 was recorded today with 127 deaths – the first three-figure jump since May 30.

The southern region of Campania said it would ask central government to impose a night-time curfew from this weekend after the northern region of Lombardy got the go ahead for a 11pm to 5am lockdown from Thursday this week.

Czech leaders are curbing movement and closing chops after the prime minister admitted that measures taken to "flatten the curve".

"Those measures are in our view inevitable," said Czech health minister Roman Prymula, a trained epidemiologist. 

'To limit free movement of people is the most effective form of prevention."

We made errors, probably yes, I can apologise again to all. At the moment it looks very bad.

Prime minister Andrej Babis said: "We made errors, probably yes, I can apologise again to all," he said. '

"At the moment it looks very bad, but I am convinced that these measures should work."

Babis apologised for the measures but said that if they were not taken, "our health system would collapse between November 7-11." 

Services, shops and schools will be closed until November 3.

People have been banned from leaving their homes unless they are going to work, buying food or essentials, caring for family members, medical emergencies or exercising.

Denmark, which was one of the first countries in Europe to reopen in April, saw cases rise sharply in August.

The government made face masks compulsory on public transport.

In Copenhagen and surrounding areas – which have seen a spike in cases – bars, restaurants and nightclubs must now shut at 10pm.

Private parties, and gatherings such as weddings, must end by the same time and masks must be worn in restaurants, bars and cafes.

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