Seven European countries that are worried about a second wave

George Martin
·5-min read

Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that the UK could impose further restrictions on European countries if a "second wave" of coronavirus hits the continent.

It comes after England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty reportedly told ministers that 10 Britons who tested positive for coronavirus after July 1 said they had come back from Spain.

The Iberian nation has seen a large spike in cases, with 900 in the past two days alone, as Spanish authorities warn the country could be facing the start of a second major outbreak.

Yahoo News UK looks at the European countries that are incresingly worried about a second wave.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 27: People, wearing protective face masks, sit on a bench at Port Vell on July 27, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish officials insisted it was still safe to travel to the country despite a recent rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, which led the UK government to reimpose a 14-day quarantine on arrivals from Spain. The Catalonian government had recently issued a stay-at-home recommendation that included the regional capital, Barcelona. (Photo by Cesc Maymo/Getty Images)
People wearing face masks sit on a bench in Barcelona, Spain. (Getty)

France

Authorities in France have said the “R” rate of infection is now up to 1.3, suggesting that infected people are contaminating 1.3 other people on average.

The country has reported an increasing number of new infections in recent days, with 1,130 announced on Friday.

Infection indicators now resemble those seen in May, when France was coming out of its strict two-month lockdown.

“We have thus erased much of the progress that we’d achieved in the first weeks of lockdown-easing,” a spokesperson for the French government said on Tuesday.

They appealed for a return to “collective discipline,” asking people to work from home and get tested if they have any suspicions of infection.

Passengers wearing a face mask or covering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, react as they exit Terminal 1 after landing at Manchester Airport in Manchester, north west England on July 27, 2020. - Tour operator TUI has cancelled all British holidays to mainland Spain from Monday until August 9, after the UK government's decision to require travellers returning from the country to quarantine. The newly-imposed rule to self-isolate, abruptly introduced at midnight Saturday hours after being announced, follows a surge in coronavirus cases in parts of Spain in recent weeks. (Photo by Anthony Devlin / AFP) (Photo by ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Passengers wearing a face masks arrive at Manchester Airport. (Getty)

Spain

Spain has also seen a large increase in new cases, with 8,000 new cases diagnosed in the region of Catalonia over the past 14 days - almost half of the 16,410 detected across Spain.

In response Catalonia has cracked down on nightlife, ordering all nightclubs to close for 15 days, and put a midnight curfew on bars.

In the neighbouring region of Aragón, where there has also been a rise in infections, 738 new cases were recorded on Friday and Saturday.

Many outbreaks have originated in bars and clubs, but other clusters have been traced to seasonal fruit and vegetable pickers, whose poor living and working conditions often make social distancing difficult.

A graph showing Spain's spike in cases. (European CDC)
A graph showing Spain's spike in cases. (European CDC)

Belgium

The Belgian government has also announced a series of new measures in an attempt to prevent a second spike in cases.

On Monday, however, prime minister Sophie Wilmès warned that a second lockdown may be inevitable.

“If we cannot reduce the coronavirus, it will be a collective failure,” Wilmès said at a press conference following a meeting of the country’s national security council.

“Experts say it is possible to avoid another lockdown. But it must be remembered that the world’s leading scientists are incapable of knowing how the situation will develop. We must not frighten people, but neither should we abuse them by pretending to know everything.”

There was a 71% increase in the seven-day average number of infections in Belgium between 17 July and 23 July in Belgium, up from 163 new cases a day to 279.

Germany

Experts in Germany say they is on the cusp of a second wave of cases, with the head of the country’s public health agency saying he is "very concerned" by rising infections.

"We are in the middle of a rapidly developing pandemic," Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), told reporters.

Mr Wieler said Germans had become "negligent" and urged people to wear masks and respect social distancing and hygiene rules.

In the past week the country has recorded 3,611 new infections.

UK

The UK has seen small-scale flare ups across the country in recent week, including in Leicester which went into a local lockdown earlier this month.

Fears are now rife that people jetting off on summer holidays may be bringing the virus back to the UK.

Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated that the government would not hesitate to act if flare-ups of coronavirus occurred in other destinations.

“It’s vital that when people are coming back from abroad, if they are coming back from a place where I’m afraid there is another outbreak, they must go into quarantine,” he said.

“That’s why we have taken the action that we have and we will continue, throughout the summer, to take such action where it is necessary.”

Greece

The Greek government said on Tuesday it is making masks compulsory again in shops and public services in response to a recent rise in infections.

The move comes as part of an attempt contain the spread of a small number of cases, and will see mandatory face-mask use extended to more venues from Wednesday.

Greece has seen a small rise in confirmed novel coronavirus cases after the gradual restart of the tourism season.

It reported 35 new cases within the past 24 hours, including 4 traced at border entrances to the country.

Austria

Austria has seen a steady rise in its number of cases with one town, St. Wolfgang, near Salzburg, suffering a large outbreak last week.

People in the town and its surrounds have been urged to stay at home after 44 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

In response Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said last week Austria would be bringing back mandatory face masks in supermarkets, smaller grocery stores, post offices and banks.

Austria has reported over 20,000 cases and more than 700 related deaths so far.

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