Across Europe, the average number of daily infections leapt 44 percent in a single week to over 121,000.

A person cycles past a covid warning billboard, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, in Manchester, Britain October 15, 2020
A person cycles past a covid warning billboard, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, in Manchester, Britain October 15, 2020 (Reuters)

New restrictions have come into effect in several European nations in an effort to staunch the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Across Europe, the average number of daily infections leapt 44 percent in a single week to over 121,000.

In Paris and eight other French cities, restaurants, bars, movie theatres and other establishments were being forced to close no later than 1900GMT to try to reduce contact among people. The country was deploying 12,000 extra police officers to enforce the new rules.

UK tightens restrictions

In Britain, a three-tier regional approach to battle the pandemic introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week went into effect, with each level bringing in progressively tighter restrictions.

On Saturday, tier-2 cities like London and York were subject to a ban on socialising with people from other households indoors, while the county of Lancashire joined Liverpool in tier 3 with the tightest restrictions.

Among other things, that means pubs have been forced to close and socialisation with others is banned even in many outdoor settings.

In Northern Ireland, a “circuit breaker” lockdown lasting four weeks came into force Friday in an attempt to quickly tamp down the spread of the virus. All pubs and restaurants must close except for takeaway services, and schools will close for two weeks for an extended half-term holiday.

Data from Friday showed that a further 136 people died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total official toll to 43,429.

On Friday, the World Health Organization warned that intensive care units in a number of European cities could reach maximum capacity in the coming weeks if the number of infections is not slowed.

READ MORE: EU nations adopt guidelines to coordinate Covid-19 travel restrictions

Germany reports record numbers

In Germany, which was widely lauded for being able to rapidly slow the spread of the pandemic when it first broke out, the numbers have been climbing rapidly recently.

On Saturday, the country's disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 7,830 cases overnight, a new record.

Like most countries, Germany has been grappling with how to keep schools and businesses open, while trying to prevent people from coming into close contact with one another.

Germany has registered a total of 356,387 coronavirus cases, though a relatively low 9,767 deaths.

With the numbers again rising, however, Merkel urged Germans to avoid unnecessary travel, cancel parties and remain at home whenever it is possible.

“What brought us so well through the first half-year of the pandemic?” she asked. “It was that we stood together and obeyed the rules out of consideration and common sense. This is the most effective remedy we currently have against the pandemic and it is more necessary now than ever.”

In the neighbouring Czech Republic, the number of new infections surpassed 10,000 for the first time, surging to 11,105 on Friday, the Health Ministry said.

That was almost 1,400 more than the previous record set a day earlier and the country has now registered a total of 160,112 cases, including 1,283 deaths.

After a series of new restrictive measures adopted by the government to slow down the surge, Health Minister Roman Prymula said he still expects a rise of those testing positive for about two weeks.

Italy's epicentre Lombardy revisits Covid-19 scare

The Italian region of Lombardy, the first European epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, has ordered all bars to shut at midnight from Saturday as it battles a second wave of the disease.

All amateur sporting events have also been put on hold in the wealthy northern regionwhere the first cases of Covid-19 in Europe emerged in February.

Under the new restrictions that will stay in effect until November 6, bars will after 6 pm only be able to serve customers seated at tables, and the sale of takeaway alcohol is also banned after that time.

Lombardy, the most populous region of Italy, has also prohibited the consumption of food and drink in all public outside areas under the new rules.

Italy on Friday reported 10,000 new infections in 24 hours as cases surge despite government restrictions affecting daily life.

READ MORE: Italy registers record 10,010 daily Covid-19 cases – latest updates

Lombardy, the hardest-hit area in Italy, is mostly targeting young people, with restrictions on sport, nightlife and education – it has now called for schools to alternate online and in-person lessons.

The latest order also bans visits to old people's homes unless there is authorisation from medical officials there. 

Italy's second-worst affected region of Campania in the south has also introduced new measures, including the controversial closure of schools as well as bans on parties and funeral processions.

The government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte last week made the wearing of masks compulsory outdoors and extended a state of emergency until January 31.

According to the Italian press, Conte is also considering following France in imposing a nighttime curfew.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Covid-19 vaccines in the works

Source: TRTWorld and agencies