Governments across Europe are re-imposing social distancing measures as COVID-19 roars back from a summer lull, prompting widespread concern of a new round of economic damage, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Sunday (Oct. 25).
Spain announced a state of emergency, WSJ reported, allowing authorities to force social distancing and emergency healthcare policies. Italy enforced the strongest restrictions on residents since it ended its lockdown, closing all restaurants and bars at 6 p.m.
“France announced a daily record for coronavirus infections, with confirmed infections reaching over 52,000 on Sunday, compared with nearly 84,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. on Saturday, whose population is around five times bigger,” according to the report.
Among concerns across Europe is that hospitals will not be able to handle a surge in COVID-19 patients, WSJ reported.
“The epidemic is reaccelerating very strongly,” French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday (Oct. 23), according to WSJ, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Sunday the “pandemic is challenging us very strongly.”
In England, The Telegraph reported the country faces the possibility of a “double-dip recession” due to the latest wave of COVID-19 cuts.
Data published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed a steady increase in the seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 diagnoses in Spain, Germany, France, the United States and the United Kingdom.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said Oct. 18 that the worsening COVID-19 situation is going to require increased government assistance and more changes in monetary policy.
“It is clear that both fiscal support and monetary policy support have to remain in place for as long as necessary and ‘cliff effects’ must be avoided,” she said.