Europe faces more curfews, restrictions as virus cases swell

ROME (AP) – Curfews were largely expanded on Thursday across France, which registered some 41.600 new confirmed virus cases to approach a total of one million, while similar overnight restrictions were slapped on Italy’s three biggest cities – Rome, Naples and Milan – as rapidly rising caseloads across Europe prompted tighter limits on everyday ways of life.

In Greece, people in the Athens area and other parts of the country with high infection rates were also ordered to stay off the streets from 12.30am to 5am.

“The aim is to reduce general movement and evening gatherings, which favour the transmission of the virus,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address. “With a little less fun, for a short period of time, we will have better health for a long time.”

Greece on Thursday reported a record 882 new confirmed cases, and 15 deaths. It also became one of a growing number of places in Europe to require mask-wearing outdoors in public.

Shortly after France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that roughly two-thirds of the country would have to endure curfews, public health authorities reported that more than 41,600 new virus cases had been registered, a daily high since the country began widespread testing.

The nation of 67 million jumped closer to the one million infections mark, with 999,043 confirmed cases by Thursday evening.

“No one is spared,” said Castex.

Healthcare workers transport a COVID-19 patient from an intensive care unit (ICU) at a hospital in Kyjov to a hospital in Brno, Czech Republic. PHOTO: AP