Europe tightens rules, calls for sacrifice as coronavirus cases rise
PRAGUE/AMSTERDAM(BLOOMBERG) - European governments are adding new restrictions and calling on citizens to make sacrifices in a bid to contain a record increase in coronavirus cases, with the Czech Republic closing schools and the Netherlands shutting down virtually all nighttime activity.
Saying measures needed to stop the virus "will hurt", Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced what he called a "partial lockdown" on Tuesday (Oct 13) evening, with sales of alcohol to be banned after 8pm and bars, restaurants and coffee shops to be closed altogether. Citizens are being urged to avoid public transportation where possible.
荷兰首相马克·吕特(Mark Rutte)周二(10月13日)晚上宣布了他所说的“部分封锁”，晚上8点以后将禁止酒类销售，酒吧、餐馆和咖啡店将全部关闭。荷兰首相马克·吕特(Mark Rutte)表示，遏制病毒所需的措施“会带来伤害”。市民被敦促在可能的情况下避免乘坐公共交通工具。
"The facts don't lie, we have to be stricter for ourselves, and stricter on our own behaviour," Mr Rutte said at a televised news conference. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge warned that a total lockdown could be the next step if the new measures don't work.
吕特在电视新闻发布会上表示：“事实不会说谎，我们必须对自己更加严格，对自己的行为也必须更加严格。”卫生部长雨果·德·容格(Hugo De Jonge)警告称，如果新措施不起作用，下一步可能是全面封锁。
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that bars and pubs will be closed in the worst-hit parts of England beginning Wednesday, even as his top health adviser warned that won't be enough.
While the opposition Labour Party called for a short lockdown to halt the contagion, Mr Johnson told Conservative lawmakers on a Zoom call on Tuesday that he's against a new nationwide lockdown, people familiar with the meeting said.
Irish health authorities are considering recommending additional curbs for Dublin and districts close to the border with Northern Ireland, where a six-week lockdown is under discussion, local media reported.
Germany's new coronavirus cases increased at their fastest pace since the height of the pandemic in the latest sign of how Europe is struggling to keep the disease in check. The region's largest economy will evaluate its own next steps on Wednesday.
"I'm watching with great concern the climbing infection numbers, actually in almost every part of Europe," Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday in a virtual address to regional European Union officials. "We cannot squander what we've achieved in the last few months."
Ms Merkel stopped short of ruling out a second lockdown for her country, saying that authorities must seek to avoid such a step. She's preparing to meet with the premiers of Germany's 16 states on Wednesday to decide on measures such as testing in nursing homes and isolating travellers from high-risk areas.
Europe recorded 700,000 new cases last week, the most since the pandemic began, the World Health Organisation said in its latest report. But rather than reviving national restrictions, officials are focusing on local measures amid concerns about hammering economies again and sparking unrest.
世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)在其最新报告中表示，欧洲上周记录了70万新病例，是自大流行开始以来最多的。但是，由于担心再次打击经济并引发动乱，官员们没有恢复国家限制，而是将重点放在地方措施上。
Relatively low hospitalisation and death rates have fueled public resistance to harsher curbs. But authorities expect the number of severe cases to increase as more older people get infected and have warned citizens against thinking the virus has lost its bite.
"We need to be really careful right now," Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation's health emergencies program, said on Monday. The relationship between case numbers and deaths "could reconnect very, very badly and very catastrophically unless we're very, very careful."
The EU loosened aid rules to help fight the economic fallout from crisis. The bloc also sought to provide some clarity to a confusing array of travel rules, signing off on a common threshold for imposing entry restrictions.
Under the non-binding plan, unfettered travel will be allowed between regions with fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 people for the previous 14 days, and with fewer than 4 per cent of tests showing positive results. No member state is currently below the threshold.
The Czech Republic, among the countries facing the fastest surge in recent weeks, banned alcohol consumption in public, limited outdoor gatherings to six people and closed down schools, restaurants and bars through early November.
Lawmakers in neighbouring Slovakia quarrelled over virus measures, with Premier Igor Matovic calling Economy Minister Richard Sulik a "saboteur" after the latter publicly questioned a decision to ban indoor serving of food and drinks in restaurants. Relations in the coalition have been fragile since elections seven months ago and Matovic's ratings have dropped as people blame him for an inadequate response to the pandemic.
邻国斯洛伐克的立法者就防病毒措施发生了争执，总理伊戈尔·马托维奇(Igor Matovic)称经济部长理查德·苏里克(Richard Sulik)为“破坏者”，此前后者公开质疑禁止在餐厅室内供应食物和饮料的决定。自七个月前的选举以来，联合政府的关系一直很脆弱，马托维奇的支持率下降，因为人们指责他对大流行的反应不力。
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday imposed new measures including ordering bars and restaurants to close by midnight, banning people from gathering outside them from 9pm, and limiting receptions for events such as weddings and baptisms to 30 people.
The latest set of regulations "will require new sacrifices," Mr Conte said Tuesday. Reiterating that the government's goal is to avoid another crippling lockdown, Mr Conte said that "to protect the economy and people's health at the same time, we need to respect these rules."
After putting six cities including Paris on maximum alert, French President Emmanuel Macron may announce additional restrictions during a planned television appearance on Wednesday.
"Alas, the epidemic continues its ascent," Health Minister Olivier Veran said during parliamentary question time. "This wave of hospitalisations that has started is worrisome."