Covid-19: Europe imposes new restrictions as cases reach record high

‘The facts don’t lie, we have to be stricter for ourselves’: The Netherlands goes into partial lockdown

 

European governments are adding new restrictions and calling on citizens to make sacrifices in a bid to contain a record increase in coronavirus cases, with the Czech Republic closing schools and the Netherlands shutting down virtually all nighttime activity.

Around the world cases of the coronavirus topped 38 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Saying measures needed to stop the virus “will hurt,” Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte announced what he called a “partial lockdown” on Tuesday evening, with sales of alcohol to be banned after 8 pm and bars, restaurants and coffee shops to be closed altogether. Citizens are being urged to avoid public transportation where possible.

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换总部:随着丰田迁至德州,奔驰从新泽西搬往北卡罗来纳州或乔治亚州,斯巴鲁也要建它的新总部了。它的一个选择是搬到离其客户群更近的佛蒙特州。
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Employees of cafe Marcella in Amsterdam watch a broadcast of a press conference of the Dutch prime minister and health minister on Tuesday on new measures taken to tackle the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Remko de Waal/ ANP/ AFP/Getty
Employees of cafe Marcella in Amsterdam watch a broadcast of a press conference of the Dutch prime minister and health minister on Tuesday on new measures taken to tackle the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Remko de Waal/ ANP/ AFP/Getty

UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced that bars and pubs will be closed in the worst-hit parts of England beginning Wednesday, even as his top health adviser warned that won’t be enough. While the opposition Labour Party called for a short lockdown to halt the contagion, Mr Johnson told Conservative lawmakers on a Zoom call Tuesday that he’s against a new nationwide lockdown, people familiar with the meeting said.

Germany’s new coronavirus cases increased at their fastest pace since the height of the pandemic in the latest sign of how Europe is struggling to keep the disease in check. The region’s largest economy will evaluate its own next steps on Wednesday.

“I’m watching with great concern the climbing infection numbers, actually in almost every part of Europe,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday in a virtual address to regional European Union officials. “We cannot squander what we’ve achieved in the last few months.”

The latest government figures were a big jump from data in mid-December, when1,200 people were said to have left or are seeking to leave to battle alongside jihadists.
A $20 billion number would make any investor salivate, but when divided between buybacks and dividends, it's pocket change compared to the share repurchase announcements other companies have made in 2014.
THE BRIDGE (Hulu, Friday) The second season of this Danish-Swedish crime drama (the source for FX’s recently canceled series of the same name) once again involves the Oresund Bridge connecting the two countries.
Maryam Sharif
9.Be Honest

Flags at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest fair for books, taking place in Frankfurt in Germany on Tuesday on a smaller scale this year. Photograph: Photograph: Thomas Lohnes/EPA
Flags at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest fair for books, taking place in Frankfurt in Germany on Tuesday on a smaller scale this year. Photograph: Photograph: Thomas Lohnes/EPA

Europe recorded 700,000 new cases last week, the most since the pandemic began, the World Health Organisation said in its latest report. But rather than reviving national restrictions, officials are focusing on local measures amid concerns about hammering economies again and sparking unrest.

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“We need to be really careful right now,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation’s health emergencies program, said Monday. The relationship between case numbers and deaths “could reconnect very, very badly and very catastrophically unless we’re very, very careful.”

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Tougher rules

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Legislators in neighbouring Slovakia quarrelled over virus measures, with premier Igor Matovic calling economy minister Richard Sulik a “saboteur” after the latter publicly questioned a decision to ban indoor serving of food and drinks in restaurants. Relations in the coalition have been fragile since elections seven months ago and Mr Matovic’s ratings have dropped as people blame him for an inadequate response to the pandemic.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday imposed new measures including ordering bars and restaurants to close by midnight, banning people from gathering outside them from 9pm, and limiting receptions for events such as weddings and baptisms to 30 people.

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Shortly after Cook's op-ed, the Senate voted to approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT employees in the workplace. The legislation will now be sent to the House for consideration.
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Yet there are similarities between the demagogic elements of the Brexit campaign and the rise of Mr Trump.

After putting six cities including Paris on maximum alert, French president Emmanuel Macron may announce additional restrictions during a planned television appearance on Wednesday.

“Alas, the epidemic continues its ascent,” health minister Olivier Veran said during parliamentary question time. “This wave of hospitalisations that has started is worrisome.” – Bloomberg