LONDON (AP) – UK last minute shoppers were forced out on Wednesday and drinkers have been planning their last poured jars in a pub next month as the UK prepares is involved in large areas of Europe in a coronavirus containment designed to protect the health of the care system from overload.
All non-essential venues – in the UK including pubs, restaurants, hair salons, golf courses, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment venues and shops selling items like books, pants jerseys and sneakers – must be closed from Thursday until at least December 2. That ruling was made following a sudden course change last weekend by the British government, which had been for several weeks. advocate for a targeted regional response to the pandemic rather than another national embargo.
Two changes from the UK spring lockdown are during this time UK schools and universities remain open, as well as construction sites and factories.
With not much time left to sort things out before door locks and Christmas, all types of businesses are reporting business activity rapidly, sometimes at unprecedented scale.
Miri Buci, a 30-year-old barber at Dulwich Barbers in southeast London, said: “This is the busiest day any of us can remember, but I̵7;m not sure this was the right thing to do. later than usual to cope with increased demand. “What do we do if we don’t get vaccinated? Lock the door every few months? “
Many lawmakers in Congress, especially from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, feel the same way and say that the new embargo policy is too harsh and will even wreak havoc on the economy that is experiencing a during the world’s deepest recessions during the first spring pandemic wave.
However, Johnson easily won a vote on the new measures late on Wednesday as most opposition lawmakers supported the close.
“I don’t think any government wants to impose these measures lightly or any Congress wants to impose these measures gently on the people of this country,” Johnson said.
The UK shutdown is subject to similar restrictions elsewhere in the UK, which recorded an additional 492 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest daily increase since May. Overall, the UK has the highest official virus-related deaths in Europe: 47,742.
It is also subject to new restrictions across the continent and clear signals that the number of people hospitalized – and then dying – from the virus is increasing,
The World Health Organization said European countries recorded a 46% increase in virus deaths from last week and was responsible for about half of the 1.7 million reported cases across the country. world in the last week.
In recent days, many European countries – including Belgium, Russia, France, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and the UK – have reported the highest daily viral death charges for months and sometimes from ever. The pandemic has caused more than 1.2 million confirmed deaths – more than 270,000 of them in Europe, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Experts say the real number, due to the limited trial and omission cases, is much higher.
Italy, which was hit hard during the first pandemic, is also facing new restrictions on freedom of movement from Thursday, including overnight curfews across the country and high schools. full-time distance learning is available.
The country is expected to become three infectious regions with restrictions on mobility, commercial activity and school opening, depending on infection rates and hospital capacity, respectively. Travel restrictions will prohibit anyone from entering and leaving the severely affected areas and restaurants and shops will be closed, except for supermarkets and pharmacies.
The northern Lombardy region, which suffered the aftermath of the pandemic earlier this year, is reeling from another surge, especially in its financial capital, Milan, and is expected to face. with more extreme restrictions.
Elsewhere, however, previous restrictions seem to have produced some results.
Belgium, one of the most affected countries in Europe, said Wednesday that new coronavirus infections and hospital admissions have begun to stabilize after measures such as the closure of pubs and the restaurant was applied a few weeks ago.
“High-speed trains are slowing down,” said virologist Steven Van Gucht of the Sciensano government medical group.
But Van Gucht says it’s important not to let your guard down. Belgium has recorded about 1,750 cases per 100,000 population, triple the rate in Italy, Spain or the UK
“Without a doubt, tough rules need to be upheld,” he said.
In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said there were some signs that bars and restaurants were closed, but more restrictive measures were needed. Starting Wednesday night, the Dutch cinemas, theaters, museums and swimming pools will be closed.
“It’s not too bad but it’s definitely not good enough,” Rutte told the country. “The number of infections should drop faster.”
Pope Francis urged everyone to “pay full attention” to measures to prevent coronavirus infection as he transferred his weekly general audience on Wednesday back to his private library and streamed the event. . The move is intended to better protect the 83-year-old pope after someone at a recent public audience turned positive.
Not all nations go down the locked path. Russia has avoided locking out a second time, insisting that its healthcare system can cope with the recent surge. However, Russia on Wednesday reported 19,768 new infections and 389 new deaths – both on record.
Associated Press writers across Europe contributed to this report.
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