COVID-19 Global Roundup: Europe faces new rules and challenges in fresh wave

European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, have seen record daily numbers of new cases in recent days.

Majority of the countries are declaring more cases each day now than they were during the first wave earlier this year. For example, Germany has seen its highest number of daily cases since April.

Based on experiences the countries learned from the first wave of the pandemic, many European countries have re-imposed lockdowns and other restrictions in their worst-affected regions, and there have been fresh appeals for people to wear face masks and follow social distancing rules.

New coronavirus rules across Europe

To deal with the fresh wave of daily peaks, countries across Europe introduced measures, involving the reintroduction of restrictions, which had been eased after initial lockdowns.

On Wednesday, France reported nearly 19,000 news infections, an all-time high for new daily cases. The French government announced that all bars in Paris will shut from October 6 for two weeks. At the same time, university lecture halls in the capital must be no more than full half, since there were many virus clusters at universities, where social distancing proves too difficult to achieve in the packed classrooms, since September.

Besides making it mandatory to wear face masks in outdoor spaces across the country in a bid to contain the spread of the virus, Italy also called on its citizens to wear masks indoors everywhere except in private homes. And in Germany, people who fail to wear face masks in shops or on public transport face a minimum fine of 50 euros (59 U.S. dollars).

There are also distinctive measures in other countries. For example, in the Netherlands, businesses must log clients’ contact details and working from home is encouraged. Social gatherings inside people’s homes must not exceed three people. And in Sweden, there was no lockdown, but most people are advised to respect voluntary social distancing and started working from home where possible. And in Czech Republic, a state of emergency has been introduced.

Challenges in curbing the fresh wave

Countries around the world, including the Europeans, all have to face challenges in tackling both flu and the global pandemic.

Besides, the anti-coronavirus measures in some countries have met setbacks. For example, a high court in Spain’s capital Madrid rejected the central government’s decision of a partial lockdown in the city, because this harmed the fundamental rights and freedoms of the inhabitants affected.

And experts also worry that different measures adopted by countries in the continent could decrease the efficiency in fighting the virus.