France is recording more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus per day for the first time since May, but denies that it is in the middle of a second wave.
French health officials announced 1,377 new cases last night, bringing the seven-day average to 1,025, while Spain and Germany have also seen alarming new peaks.
Health Minister Olivier Veran said that France sees “warning signs” of hospitals with increasing admissions, but insisted that “we are not in a second wave of the corona virus.”
Several French cities have tightened their face mask rules, and some Atlantic beaches have curfews, as cases continue to increase with 151 ‘clusters’ currently under investigation.
France has seen weekly coronavirus cases increase four weeks in a row, with a seven-day average of over 1,000 new cases
France typically experiences 10 to 20 coronavirus deaths a day and has killed more than 30,000 since the pandemic began
The French economy contracted by a record 13.8 percent in the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the lockdown, official figures showed today.
The second-quarter figure means that the French economy has shrunk for three consecutive quarters and is still in recession.
The contraction in the second quarter of France was much stronger than the record 10.1 percent decline in Germany.
However, France’s decline was better than its own mid-June forecast of 17 percent.
Figures included a 46 percent drop in transportation and a 57 percent drop in the restaurant and hotel industry.
France is now trying to reopen its economy, but has its citizens to dodge Catalonia in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus from Spain across the border, which in some cases is experiencing its own alarming peak.
Spain’s seven-day average has risen to 2,181 cases per day, compared to 1,615 last week and 828 the previous week.
Britain pulled the plug on summer holidays to Spain last week, severely impacting the Mediterranean country’s economy.
Spanish GDP fell by 18.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020, and tourism is considered critical to the reboot of the economy.
Alexis Frick, research manager at Euromonitor, said British tourists have made nearly a quarter of all holiday visits to Spain in the past 15 years.
A person wears a mask in Biarritz in southwestern France yesterday as regional leaders tighten their rules to counter an increase in cases
Germany has also raised the alarm following an increase in business across the country, raising the R rate above 1.0 every day this week.
The seven-day average in Germany is 645 new cases, lower than in France or Spain, but noticeably higher than 477 last week and 381 the week before.
Unlike in mid-June, when a peak in cases was largely traced to a few minor outbreaks, cases are now increasing in many of the 16 German states.
Germany’s top disease institute says there are “much smaller cases of outbreaks” associated with leisure activities, family reunions, and overseas vacations.
“A further deterioration of the situation must be prevented. That will only work if the entire population remains committed to reducing transmission, ”he says.
The daily death toll in Germany remains in single digits, although it rose slightly from its lowest point in mid-July.
Italy also saw its weekly average rise and yesterday, the figure of 386 new cases was the highest since mid-June.
“Unfortunately, today’s pandemic is not completely over, even if its effects are more contained and geographically limited,” said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday.
The Italian parliament launched Wednesday to extend the country’s state of emergency to October 15, after it would expire today.
Conte assured MPs that the extension did not necessarily imply more closures, after Italy was the first nation in the West to order its people to stay at home.
Opposition parties objected and accused Conte of trying to control too much power, despite the fact that the crisis has eased considerably since March.
However, the Senate Senate adopted the measure with 157 votes in favor to 125 against in the 319-seat parliament.
People were chilling on a beach in Barcelona yesterday. Britain now discourages all non-essential travel to Spain and its islands
Several French cities announced new face mask requirements on Thursday as the number of new cases continues to rise.
Face masks are already mandatory in all enclosed public areas, including public transportation.
In the Nord department, bordering Belgium, the top government official said Friday that “ enhanced measures ” would be announced, potentially making masks required outside the home in response to a wave of affairs across the border.
Belgium has seen more than 400 cases over several days in the past week, as it has not seen such great one-day jumps since June.
The mayor of Saint-Malo, whose walled city drew tens of thousands of French tourists who chose to stay in the country for the summer holidays, said masks were now mandatory in the old town and on the ramparts.
“Masks are essential protection to limit the spread of the virus,” said Mayor Gilles Lurton, after the Ille-et-Vilaine region saw 44 new cases on Wednesday alone.
As of Friday, masks are also required at open-air markets in Orleans, central France, and along the Loire River, where crowds of people show up at night.
The mayors of Bayonne and the nearby Atlantic resort of Biarritz have also announced that face masks will be mandatory in their city center starting next week.
Biarritz will also ban access to its beaches at night to prevent parties from being held there.