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France, Germany Announce New Lockdowns to Combat Covid-19 Resurgence


France and Germany announced new lockdowns Wednesday in a sign of how Europe’s strategy for containing the coronavirus has buckled under the pressure of mounting cases and deaths.

In a national TV address, French President Emmanuel Macron announced tough restrictions. A national lockdown, which will begin Friday and last at least one month, will require people to remain inside their homes while restaurants, bars and shops deemed nonessential will close, he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country’s federal and state governments had agreed to a one-month shutdown of restaurants, bars, fitness studios, concert halls and theaters, starting Nov. 2. Hotels are barred from hosting tourists until the end of the month, she said, and public gatherings will be limited to 10 people from two households.

Both leaders aimed to cushion the economic impact of the restrictions, saying factories and schools would remain open. Still, the new restrictions mark a clear departure from months of targeted measures that European officials hoped would keep a lid on the virus. Mr. Macron cast the new lockdown as a form of shock treatment aimed at halting the virus’ momentum.

“If we don’t apply a brutal break on new contaminations our hospitals will be saturated,” Mr. Macron said.

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