France and Germany imposed new lockdowns Wednesday in a sign of how Europe’s strategy for containing the coronavirus has buckled under the pressure of mounting cases and deaths.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new nationwide lockdown from Friday to stem a surge in coronavirus patients in French hospitals, warning that the second wave of the virus is “likely to be deadlier than the first.
Germany’s federal and state governments agreed to a one-month shutdown of restaurants, bars, fitness studios, concert halls and theaters, starting on Nov. 2. Hotels are barred from hosting tourists until the end of November. Public gatherings will be limited to 10 people from two households.
The approach by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel seeks to strike a balance between protecting public health and avoiding another debilitating blow to the economy.
“Today is a difficult day, for policy makers as well,” Merkel said at a press conference in Berlin. “We know what we’re demanding of the people.”