European nations are scrambling to implement tighter COVID-19 lockdown procedures as spikes in virus cases continue across the continent.
Today, the Czech Republic confirmed stricter controls, with cinemas, theaters, zoos and gyms all ordered to close for a two-week period. Other leisure venues such as restaurants and bars will have an 8pm curfew.
The country, cited as a model of good virus response earlier in the pandemic, saw a new high mark of 8,618 positive cases on Friday, which meant the number of cases in the first 10 days of October eclipsed the entirety of September. Those figures provoked a swift response from the local government, which had previously said it would try to avoid further comprehensive shutdowns.
The wider picture around Europe is similarly challenging.
In the UK, PM Boris Johnson today announced a three-tie alert system as the country looks to implement lockdown measures on a regional basis to combat local outbreaks. Hospitals in parts of the country are being readied as daily COVID-related admissions steadily rise. The country clocked almost 23,000 positive cases back on October 4 and has registered more than 10,000 each day since, up significantly on last month.
France and Germany are both reporting significant spikes, with the former reporting a record for daily cases at 27,000 over the weekend. In response, the French government is introducing tighter restrictions in major cities, with cinemas and restaurants facing new controls. German capital Berlin is seeing cases increase the most since April and in response has closed bars.
Poland, Russia and Hungary also saw record infection rates this weekend. Regions of Italy and Spain are similarly seeing concerning spikes.