France and Germany announced new lockdowns this week as infections on the continent passed the 10-million milestone and hospitals and intensive care units filled up again
EU officials warned Europe to be ready for wider Covid restrictions as infections surged across the continent, France and Germany prepared curbs almost as strict as their spring lockdowns and cases soared across the United States.
Europe and the United States have emerged as the current danger zones for Covid-19, which was first identified in China in December, in a global crisis in which more than 44.94 million people have been infected and 1,178,943 have died.
"Given the very dynamic situation in all of Europe, we need to equally reduce contact in almost all European countries," German Health Minister Jens Spahn told journalists after a video conference of EU health ministers that he chaired.
EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides echoed the call.
"We need to pull through this, where needed, with restrictions on everyday life to break the chain of transmission," she told the video conference.
France and Germany announced new lockdowns this week as infections on the continent passed the 10-million milestone and hospitals and intensive care units filled up again.
Bars, restaurants, sports and cultural events have been restricted or closed in several other European countries.
Belgium, one of Europe's worst-affected countries, recorded an average of 15,316 new infections per day in mid-October. The country has announced a return to a national lockdown. Italy and Austria recorded their highest daily number of infections to date on Friday.
Checkpoints have been set up across Portugal to stop unauthorised travel during a five-day movement ban which began on Friday.
Russia has seen coronavirus cases swell in recent weeks and reported 18,283 new infections on Friday, the highest tally recorded since the pandemic began, and 355 deaths.
Poland reported a fourth consecutive daily record for new cases. Britain resisted the idea of a new national lockdown, even as a survey showed soaring infections.