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Governments impose restrictions across Europe to prevent coronavirus lockdown

Coronavirus testing at London's Heathrow airport, England. July 2020.
Coronavirus testing at London's Heathrow airport, England. July 2020. AFP/File
2 min

Just weeks after European governments trumpeted the reopening of their countries following months of lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the same administrations were on Friday reimposing restrictions on international travellers and domestic life.

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Several governments in the European bloc have announced tighter restrictions for travellers over the summer break, in the hope of warding off a second wave of Covid-19.

A day after the Norwegian government ordered a 10-day quarantine on travellers from France, authorities in Paris said they would make the wearing of face masks compulsory in certain public open-air spaces like parks, street markets and along the banks of the river Seine, as of next week.

France has also begun testing at its airports for visitors from a list of countries considered risk zones.

Several zones in France have already been put on a 'red list' by Belgium earlier this week meaning compulsory quarantine upon arrival.

Travel Restrictions  

The British government, which 10 days ago imposed quarantines on travellers from Spain, on Friday added similar restrictions on those arriving from Belgium and Andorra.

Nationwide, Spain has added 19,405 new coronavirus cases in the past week. However the health ministry insists the country is not entering a second wave of the pandemic.

On Friday around 30,000 people in the town of Aranda del Duero, 150 kilometres north of Madrid, were told they would not be allowed to leave the town nor would anyone be allowed to enter.

The Austrian government on Friday advised its citizens to steer clear of Spain where the increased number of coronavirus cases has forced authorities to impose restrictions in the Basque region as well as Catalonia and Aragon.

Germany, universally hailed for its efficient response to the pandemic, has been hit by a rise in the number of infections. Many have been attributed to the return of travellers from foreign holidays.

Travelers from Luxembourg and parts of Spain - considered risk zones - will be required to take the coronavirus test when they arrive in Germany starting this weekend.

On Friday, the worldwide death toll from the disease had risen to 712,000. More than 150,000 of the victims have been in the United States. On Thursday, Mexico crossed the 50,000 mark.

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