From France to Germany, several countries across the globe have begun to re-impose restrictions as coronavirus cases have started to surge. New mutations of the virus, along with fears of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine side effects, have definitely complicated the situation even more. The rise in infections also come amid a global shortage of vaccines. Therefore, to curb the spread of the deadly virus, countries including, France, Belgium and Poland, have renewed partial lockdowns and have stepped up COVID protocols.
Earlier this month, France ordered a third nationwide lockdown for a month, including in Paris amid the recent surge of coronavirus cases. In a televised address on March 31, the French President announced the immediate closure of all schools and non-essential businesses, issuing home confinement orders, extending the previously enforced 7 pm curfew to tougher restrictions. “We don’t have to lock ourselves in but we need to limit our contacts,” Macron told the French population.
“We tried to push back this day for as long as possible – but unfortunately it has now arrived,” he continued. “We will lose control if we do not act now,” Macron stressed.
According to BBC, while Germany has extended its lockdown measures until April 18, individual states are now able to introduce their own rules. Germany is currently rattled with what is appearing to be the third wave of novel coronavirus outbreak along with a sluggish vaccination campaign. Several state leaders are backing calls for a period of strict restrictions. The government has ordered night curfews and tighter restrictions on socialising in Berlin for some groups.
Amid rising coronavirus cases, Belgium on March 24 announced a renewed partial lockdown of four weeks, with schools and non-essential stores open to customers by appointment only. While announcing the latest measure, Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that the pandemic is a “big lesson” in humanity for politicians and for everyone. As per reports, a ban on non-essential travel is also in place as hospitalisation due to COVID-19 rose by 27 per cent over the past month.
All schools, nurseries and non-essential businesses have been closed in Poland. The number of people allowed inside essential shops has also been curbed. Salons, sports facilities have also been forced to close in view of the rising number of cases.
The government has extended its coronavirus lockdown until April 20. Dutch PM Mark Rutte has even advised all residents to avoid travelling abroad until May 15. Further, public gatherings of over two people are banned and restaurants are only permitted to sell takeaway food.
President Alberto Fernandez announced a three-week nighttime curfew earlier this week as the country reported a record-breaking number of daily cases for two consecutive days. According to reports, the curfew will apply from midnight until 6am every day until April 30 in all of the country’s high-risk areas. Bars and restaurants will also be shut by 11:00pm across the country.