France will start a four-week nationwide lockdown on Friday, French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron stated Wednesday.

His declaration got here simply hours after German Chancellor Angela Merkel additionally introduced a four-week partial lockdown beginning subsequent Monday.

Macron introduced the French measures in a televised handle on Wednesday night, saying current restrictions have been “not sufficient anymore.” By mid-November, all intensive care beds might be taken by Covid-19 sufferers until a “brake” is placed on the virus, he warned.

Underneath the French lockdown, individuals will want a certificates to maneuver round. Non-essential companies, eating places and bars can be closed.

Colleges and workplaces will stay open, and care properties visits can be allowed. Nonetheless French individuals will solely be allowed exterior to go “to work, to go to a medical appointment, to take care of a relative, to do store for important items and to get some air,” Macron stated.

“The virus is circulating at a pace that even probably the most pessimistic had not predicted,” he stated, including that the curfew imposed in Paris and different administrative areas didn’t dent the unfold of the virus.

France’s lockdown will final till December 1 at “minimal,” in keeping with Macron.

German eating places, bars and golf equipment will even be closed with the intention to “keep away from a nationwide well being emergency,” in keeping with Merkel.

Folks residing in Germany are suggested to remain residence, keep away from journey and “hold their contacts to an absolute minimal. Social contacts can be restricted to 2 households in public. Colleges and kindergartens will stay open, however need to take strict hygiene measure to take action.

Germany’s restrictions can be reassessed in two weeks time, Merkel stated.

Although strict, the brand new pointers in each international locations are much less harsh than lockdowns imposed this spring, which introduced Germany and France to a standstill.

French hospitals on the brink

The coronavirus pandemic has been intensifying within the European Union as winter approaches, with infections skyrocketing via the continent.

France has one of many highest coronavirus infections charges relative to its inhabitants within the European Union, in accordance to the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management (ECDC). The company’s figures present it has 659.9 circumstances per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days.

On Tuesday, France reported 34,591 new confirmed circumstances and 530 deaths, in keeping with Johns Hopkins College (JHU) knowledge, bringing its complete to 1,279,384 confirmed circumstances and 35,820 deaths.

Jean-François Delfraissy, who leads the scientific council that advises the French authorities, warned on Monday that France may have about 100,000 new coronavirus circumstances per day, as many could also be undiagnosed or asymptomatic circumstances.

The French Hospital Federation, which represents 4,800 hospitals, warned of capability points in an announcement on Wednesday.

The group stated in an announcement {that a} full lockdown was the “solely answer” and would allow French hospitals to “efficiently deal with all French individuals, whether or not they have Covid, whether or not they have every other critical sickness or are affected by a critical accident.”

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France’s “hospital system is not going to maintain with out radical measures,” federation president Frédéric Valletoux stated in an interview with the French radio station France Inter, including that hospitals are fighting decrease numbers of medical personnel in contrast with spring’s peak.

Germany was lauded for its pandemic response throughout the first wave, due to widescale testing and its quick response to the outbreak which has helped hold its Covid-19 mortality price comparatively low — regardless of a excessive variety of reported circumstances.

Because it struggles with the second wave, the nation has seen the variety of intensive care admissions double, Merkel stated. “I wish to say what makes the scenario significantly critical… the speed of dissemination is especially excessive,” she stated.

Her announcement got here after a gathering with leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states to debate the nation’s spike in circumstances, which has seen the state of Bavaria and Frankfurt introduce restrictions that vary from curfews to localized lockdowns.

Germany recorded a file 14,964 new day by day infections on Wednesday, in keeping with the nation’s illness and management company the Robert Koch Institute. The nation’s complete coronavirus case rely now stands at 449,275 and the dying toll at 10,098, the institute’s knowledge confirmed.

Reporting contributed by Barbara Wojazer in Paris and Lindsay Isaac in London.