Faced with regular increases in the numbers of people infected with Covid-19, many countries on Thursday strengthened health measures and restrictions, in order to avoid a second wave of contamination.
In Australia, Melbourne, the country’s second city, has decreed a new phase of strict confinement, scheduled to last six weeks.
Praised for its effective management of the first epidemic wave, Australia has seen the reappearance of centers of contamination in Melbourne and its region, which have pushed the authorities to gradually tighten the health system.
After the establishment of a night curfew, only essential businesses are now allowed to open in the city of five million inhabitants.
In Britain, authorities have ruled that travelers from Belgium, Andorra or the Bahamas arriving in England and Scotland will again be quarantined from Saturday, due to a “significant increase” cases of the new coronavirus in these countries.
– “Extremely delicate situation”
Finland, one of the continent’s most spared countries, announced Thursday that it was preparing new measures to respond to an accelerating epidemic.
“The situation is extremely delicate,” said the strategic director of the Ministry of Health, Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, adding that a “form of second phase had started”, although it was too early to speak of “second wave”.
Norway has announced that it will return France to the red zone due to the resurgence of coronavirus cases, leading to a mandatory ten-day quarantine for all travelers arriving from France in the Scandinavian country.
In France, where the number of people diagnosed positive for the virus has increased by more than 30% in one week, the mask has become mandatory even outdoors in the busiest areas of cities such as Toulouse, Tours or Saint-Tropez, the famous popular jet set resort on the French Riviera.
The same will soon happen in Paris, as the scientific body guiding the government has deemed it “highly likely that a second epidemic wave will be observed in the autumn or winter.”
A similar measure came into effect in Amsterdam’s Red Light District and Rotterdam’s shopping districts.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has asked tourists to avoid Amsterdam’s most crowded streets. “The virus is progressing dangerously,” he said. “He did not disappear () It would be very stupid to pretend otherwise”.
Greece has announced for its part that it will close its land borders, except with Bulgaria, to travelers at night. Emergency health measures have been taken on the small tourist island of Poros, near Athens.
Ireland, for its part, has decided to postpone the last phase of its deconfinement, which includes the reopening of all pubs. Wearing a mask will be compulsory in stores from August 10.
And Germany has just classified the Belgian province of Antwerp as a risk zone, with compulsory quarantine for coming travelers, unless they present a negative test.
– Door to door in Catalonia –
In Spain, Catalonia continued a vast detection campaign, sometimes door-to-door, in three medium-sized towns in an attempt to curb the rise in contagions.
A hundred people thronged Thursday in front of an emergency medical center set up in Ripollet, north of Barcelona, to get tested for free.
“I’m fine, but it’s a question of responsibility, because you don’t know if you have it or not,” testified Paquita Can, a 74-year-old retiree.