January 24, 2021

Coronavirus: Spain and France announce sweeping restrictions

Two of the EU’s biggest states, Spain and France, have followed Italy in announcing emergency restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

In Spain, people are banned from leaving home except for buying essential supplies and medicines, or for work.

With 191 deaths, Spain is Europe’s worst-hit country after Italy.

In France, where 91 people have died, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and most shops are now shut.

Italy, which has recorded more than 1,440 deaths, began a nationwide lockdown on Monday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says Europe is now the “epicentre” of the pandemic.

WHO head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives.

In other developments:

US President Donald Trump has tested negative for coronavirus, the White House said. Mr Trump was tested days after hosting an event that included some guests who were later found to have the virus
The US is to extend its European coronavirus travel ban to include the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The number of deaths in the UK doubled in 24 hours to 21. More than 200 scientists have written to the government urging them to introduce tougher measures
A partial economic shutdown will be in place across Israel from Sunday, with public venues like shopping centres and restaurants closed
In China, where the coronavirus outbreak started last year, new cases among people arriving in the country outnumbered those by local transmission for the first time

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