Germany, France prepare new lockdowns


Germany decided to shut bars and restaurants for a month on Wednesday and France prepared to tighten controls on movement as the coronavirus surged across Europe and financial markets tumbled at the likely cost of a second lockdown.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met state premiers in a video conference on Wednesday and agreed a partial lockdown that will see bars and restaurants closing from Nov. 2 to Nov. 30 and shops allowed to remain open on condition they set strict social distancing limits, people familiar with the talks said.

Cinemas, theatres, concert halls, sports facilities and trade fairs will also be closed, the sources said.

In France, which has seen more than 50,000 new cases a day, President Emmanuel Macron will give a televised address in the evening and is expected to announce further curbs on movement following the curfew measures introduced across much of the country last week.

News television BFM TV reported that the government was considering a month-long lockdown from midnight on Thursday, but there was no confirmation from Macron’s office.

The measures in Germany and France, following similar moves in Italy and Spain, are expected to leave schools and most businesses working and would be less severe than the near-total lockdowns imposed at the start of the crisis in March and April.❐


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