Europe scrambles to tighten rules as COVID cases surge
European countries have begun imposing new restrictions on public and private life as they struggle to cope with steep rises in coronavirus infections. The UK which has Europe's highest pandemic death toll, has unveiled a new three-tier system, closing pubs, gyms and betting shops in the highest-risk areas. And the regional government in Northern Ireland has just imposed Europe's harshest 2nd-wave lockdown restrictions.
The Czech Republic already imposed a state of emergency. Today, new restrictions come into place, closing all schools, bars, restaurants and clubs. And the Netherlands is also returning to partial lockdown, closing restaurants, hotels and cafes for two weeks.
Those are just some of the latest curbs. Other measures are already in place in several European countries. Spain has a state of emergency in the Madrid region to enforce a partial lockdown, affecting four and a half million people.
Masks are now mandatory in all public places. Fance has placed Paris, Marseille and seven other large cities under maximum virus alert - closing bars, gyms and swimming pools, and banning public parties.
Cases are also rising rapidly in Germany. Since Friday, new nightlife restrictions are in effect in the capital Berlin. Bars must close at 11 pm, further hitting Berlin's famously liberal nightlife economy.
Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet leaders of Germany’s federal states to try to solve the confusion around 16 different sets of rules.