Europe's coronavirus woes multiply with leaders drifting to lockdowns

DY365
DY365
Published: November 1,2020 11:11 AM
DY365

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November 1, 2020: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson became Europe’s latest leader to retreat from a no-lockdown pledge, faced with a virus pandemic that’s wreaking havoc on government plans and derailin

November 1, 2020: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson became Europe’s latest leader to retreat from a no-lockdown pledge, faced with a virus pandemic that’s wreaking havoc on government plans and derailing an economic recovery.



A one-month stay-at-home policy for all of England will take effect from Thursday, with waivers for schools, universities and essential stores, Johnson said on Saturday as U.K. cases surpassed 1 million.



Germany and France imposed similar partial shutdowns this week.



Austria, Greece and Portugal followed the example of the European Union’s two big economic powers on Saturday with expanded shutdowns for November. Leaders across the region are seeking to beat back the virus surge before the end-of-year holiday season in Europe, where more than 215,000 have died and nearly 7 million have been infected.



“Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different,” Johnson told a news conference. “But it’s my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now, we can allow families across the country to be together.”



Bars, restaurants, leisure facilities and cultural venues have to close in Germany starting Monday, while schools and most shops can remain open. France began its version of “lockdown lite” on Friday.



Belgium is closing all non-essential stores and curtailing family visits to avoid crashing its health-care system. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, intent on avoiding a national lockdown, expanded economic aid for businesses and tightened restrictions in population centers.



With protests multiplying and political unity fraying, officials had been trying to avoid the sweeping restrictions that plunged the continent into recession in the spring.



ying and political unity fraying, officials had been trying to avoid the sweeping restrictions that plunged the continent into recession in the spring.