Europe's COVID-19 outbreak is cascading out of control, and nations are slamming vast regions into lockdown again

Europe's COVID-19 outbreak is cascading out of control, and nations are slamming vast regions into lockdown again
A waiter puts on a new mask at the famous Chartier Bouillon Restaurant near Grands Boulevards on October 10, 2020 in Paris, France.Kiran Ridley/Getty Images
  • Europe's coronavirus cases are surging, prompting authorities to impose new restrictions to try to control the virus.
  • Paris, London, and other large areas of Europe are being put under renewed restrictions.
  • Governments have stopped short of putting entire nations into lockdown again.

Europe's COVID-19 outbreak is cascading out of control, prompting national authorities to impose harsh restrictions again in the hope of bringing the virus back under control.

This week, the average number of new cases recorded each day in the European Union and the UK combined was greater than in the US, starkly reversing an earlier trend.

According to European Union data, the number of daily new cases across the 27-nation bloc plus the UK, which left the EU at the beginning of the year, numbered 80,000 on average.
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The return of mass restrictions in Europe brought to an end a summer in which — unlike in the US — the spread of the virus had significantly slowed.

A graph tweeted by The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler showed the stark reversal:

Here is a rundown of the picture across the continent:
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France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the Netherlands all recorded record-high cases on Wednesday or Thursday.

Daily case graphs in most European nations look like this one, for France:
Europe's COVID-19 outbreak is cascading out of control, and nations are slamming vast regions into lockdown again
France's coronavirus cases as of October 15.Worldometer
In response, governments have imposed extra restrictions, which many hoped would be limited to avoid the nationwide lockdowns of spring:
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Despite the rising number of infections, the number of people dying from the virus remains far smaller than earlier in the year.

Possible reasons include better public-health measures, the increased ability of healthcare systems to treat people, and the fact that many of the most vulnerable have already died.

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