As coronavirus spreads across Europe, daily life for the continent’s 750 million inhabitants becomes increasingly unrecognizable.
But their governments’ draconian measures may have come too late to mitigate the virus’s fallout.
Today’s proclamations out of France and Spain are but the latest example of that. The Spanish government is putting its 47 million residents on partial lockdown. All Spaniards are being told to stay home except for going out to work, the grocery store, the pharmacy, and other emergencies.
France has shut down all of its top tourist destinations. For the first time in decades the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Musée d’Orsay are closed simultaneously. The favorite haunts of local night owls – cafes, bars, restaurants, and cinemas – throughout Paris and other urban centers are empty as well. The new restrictions, announced by Prime Minister Édouard Philippe will affect all businesses, except those of “first necessities,” including pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, and newspaper stands.
The BBC further reports:
Two of the EU’s biggest states, France and Spain, have followed Italy in announcing emergency restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus.
France, a country of 63.5 million, ordered the closure of all non-essential places used by the public from midnight (23:00 GMT).
Sweeping curbs on citizens’ movements will take effect overnight in Spain, which has a population of 46.7 million.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Europe was now the “epicentre” of the pandemic. Its head, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives.