France and Poland have reintroduced partial lockdowns as both countries battle an acute rise in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks.
Some 21 million people in 16 areas of France, including the capital Paris, are affected because the country fears the 3rd wave.
In Poland, shops, hotels, cultural and sporting facilities are closed across the country for 3 weeks.
The country has the highest new daily rates of COVID-19 cases since November.
Coronavirus cases are also rising exponentially in Germany, with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s warning it is likely that the country will now need to apply an “emergency brake” and re-impose lockdown measures.
The vaccine rollout across the European Union has been hindered by delayed deliveries also because of the suspension in several countries of the utilization of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, over fears of possible side effects.
What’s the situation in France and Poland?
In France, the partial lockdown took effect from midnight on Friday.
Trains leaving Paris for parts of the country where lockdown restrictions don’t apply, like Brittany and Lyon, were reportedly fully booked hours before the measures were thanks to coming into effect.
Traffic jams were reported on several roads leaving the capital.
The new restrictions aren’t as strict because of the previous lockdown, with people allowed to exercise outdoors.
Non-essential businesses are shut, but schools remain open, alongside hairdressers if they follow a “particular sanitary protocol”.
France has reported quite 4.2 million infections since the beginning of the outbreak, with nearly 92,000 COVID-19-related deaths, consistent with the info compiled by America’s Johns Hopkins University.
In Poland, the three-week lockdown begins on Saturday.
Polish health officials earlier warned the nationwide restrictions were necessary due to a rampant British variant of Covid-19 within the country. The variant now makes up more than 60% of infections.
Poland has had quite two million confirmed infections, and nearly 49,000 deaths, consistent with Johns Hopkins.
Germany said on Friday it was now classifying neighbouring Poland as high risk. This means that from Sunday anyone crossing the border from Poland must provide a negative coronavirus test.