Germany, Italy and France Impose Second Wave of COVID-19 Lockdowns

BERLIN, GERMANY – Today begins Chancellor Angela Merkel’s second wave of COVID-19 lockdowns across Germany in response to a growing uptick in COVID-19 cases across the nation.  Under the new rules which go into effect today, German bars and restaurants will close today for indoor dining.  Only takeout orders will be allowed.  All large scale events will be canceled, non-essential travel is being discouraged, hotel tourism has been shut down, all workers who can work from home are strongly encouraged to do so, public meetings will be restricted, all theaters and cinemas will be shut down and indoor public recreation centers will be closed.

Spectators will be barred from sports events across Germany.  The nation’s schools, churches, nursing homes and shops will remain open, with social distancing restrictions enforced.  The German lockdown will remain in effect for one month.

“We are in a very serious situation,” Merkel said. “We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency.”

In France, large gatherings will be shutdown such as weddings, receptions and banquet halls.  A 9pm curfew of shops and public buildings in predetermined COVID-19 hot spots will take effect.  That curfew will be from 9 pm until 6 am.

French officials say the lockdown will be enforced for the next 30 days, but could last for up to six weeks.

During the height of the pandemic, Italy made its pandemic spirit known with viral videos of Italians singing and performing music in concert from their balconies.  That could soon become a reality in Italy again.  The nation is now in a limited lockdown with a 9pm curfew on public gatherings. Residents are asked to avoid public transportation for all reasons other than going to and from work, max occupancy rules must be strictly enforced at private businesses and access to public parks is now conditional, with social distancing restrictions.

All public sporting events have been canceled unless organized and maintained by international sports bodies.  All youth and amateur sports activities have been canceled. Bars, dance halls, discos and events such as weddings at private venues have been canceled.    All festivals and fairs are now prohibited.  Religious services and schools will remain open, provided they adhere to the country’s social distancing guidelines.

Other countries such as Hungary are also tightening their COVID-19 rules.

The Hungarian government is extending face mask requirements to restaurants and entertainment venues from next week. The new regulations enter into effect on November 2. Under the new rules, members of the public will be required to wear masks at entertainment venues, restaurants and in catering facilities at sporting events. Masks will only be allowed to be removed for eating and drinking.