Germany, France Imposing New Lockdown Restrictions As Coronavirus Cases Surge

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Germany announced increased coronavirus restrictions Wednesday and France is expected to do the same as coronavirus cases in Europe spike, the Associated Press reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany will enter a month-long partial lockdown, closing non-essential facilities such as restaurants, bars, and theaters, according to the Associated Press. Restaurants can serve take-out food and unlike the first wave of coronavirus restrictions, schools and stores will remain open.

Merkel said that Germany’s 16 state governors, who are responsible for imposing lockdowns, agreed to the measures. (RELATED: Coronavirus Not Spreading Among Students, Swedish And German Health Professionals Say)

“We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency,” Merkel said.

Germany reported 14,964 new daily cases Tuesday, a record number. The total number of confirmed cases in Germany is 449,275, the Associated Press reported.

French President Emmanuel Macron is planning to host a televised address Wednesday following French doctors’ calls to impose new coronavirus restrictions.

Critically ill coronavirus patients are being ferried to other hospitals by military and commercial planes as hospitals in France are beginning to fill up, according to the Associated Press report. Coronavirus patients are occupying more than half of the intensive care units in the country.

This week, France reported the largest jump in virus-related deaths and deaths in nursing homes since May. 288 people died in hospitals from coronavirus Tuesday, and over the past four days, 235 people died in nursing homes.

Merkel warned that Germany could also see hospitals reaching their capacity if the virus wasn’t brought under control.

“We can say that our health system can cope with the challenge today,” she said according to the Associated Press. “But if the pace of infections continues like this, then we’ll reach the limits of what the health system can manage within weeks.”

France and Germany are an example of policies that may be coming in the United States.

Average daily deaths have risen by 10% in the past 2 weeks across the U.S. and new daily cases are rising in 47 states, according to the Associated Press. The weekly average for daily new confirmed cases hit a record high of 68,767 Sunday, although increased testing makes comparisons to earlier case numbers difficult.

Some places in the United States have already ordered new restrictions. After hospitals became overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, the Texas city of El Paso imposed a 10 PM to 5 AM curfew and issued a two-week stay-at-home order. Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little renewed some restrictions, such as limiting indoor gatherings to 50 people, after cases increased and hospitals began to fill up, the Associated Press reported.