Europe Back in Lockdown
The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has struck Europe. Some countries call the second wave a tsunami because where the first wave slowly decreased, this second wave seems to last a lot longer at its peak. In countries like the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Belgium, the number of COVID-19 cases has increased intensively in the last couple of weeks.
Two weeks ago, the countries went back into lockdown. Additionally, last Friday French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will go in lockdown as well. The restrictions that were added in August were not enough to keep the virus under control. As of now, intensive care patients occupy 90% of the hospitals in France. This made the president decide to have another lockdown.
The lockdown will have the following restrictions until at least Dec. 1:
Schools remain open, masks are required
If people go to work without the “déplacement” form, which is a special form French people need to have as approval to leave their homes, they can receive a 135 euro fine.
People are only allowed to leave their homes for groceries, to bring their children to school, walk their dog or outdoor workouts within a 1 kilometer radius.
All restaurants and bars are closed
Museums, theaters and other indoor recreations are closed.
Traveling to other cities within France is prohibited.
The lockdown rules are the same for Spain, Italy and Belgium.
According to Johns Hopkins’ statistics, these countries are doing the worst out of Europe. They all have more than 35,000 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths since March. The Netherlands is currently in an intelligent lockdown. There are only a few differences between a lockdown and an intelligent lockdown. For example, people in France aren’t allowed to leave the house when they feel like it, but people in the Netherlands still can. However, Prime Minister Mark Rutter recommends not to do so even though you won’t have to pay a fine if you do. The gyms, hair and nail salons are also still open in the intelligent lockdown. Restaurants and bars are closed, and there’s a curfew in the Netherlands on alcohol use outside on the streets from 8 p.m. - 7 a.m.
A major difference between the lockdowns now and the lockdowns in March is that more people are protesting. According to the BBC, people in Italy are upset with the lockdown rules, and they are not making enough money to feed themselves and their families. Many people are afraid of losing their jobs, according to the statistics on Statistica. Individuals expressed their worries between March and July, which resulted in 50% of the people being worried about their job every week.
Germany has also seen increased Covid cases since November according to Our World in Data. The cases were low and under control up until this month where there are now more than 18,000 cases. German Chancellor Angela Merkel started a second lockdown on Nov. 1 that will last at least four weeks.
Meanwhile, countries outside of Europe like New Zealand and Australia are doing very well with keeping COVID-19 cases as low as possible. New Zealand had their first rugby game on Oct. 11 with 46,000 people in the audience without masks and social distancing. After the numbers were increasing again in August, New Zealand went through a very strict lockdown phase. As a result, the country is still at zero COVID-19 cases and can continue to loosen up the restrictions again.
By Rebecca Keijzerwaard