France will not close even if COVID-19 infections increase in Europe


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Italy has also seen a resumption of new cases, although more contained than elsewhere. The country reported 642 new infections on Wednesday, the largest increase since May 23.

A policeman patrols and checks to see that people wear protective masks in Piazza di Spagna, Rome, August 17, 2020, as Italy declares protective masks mandatory at public gathering places to combat the spread of COVID-19. ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP via Getty Images

The government has closed nightclubs, banned dancing in public places and made face masks mandatory from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in all places, including streets and squares, where crowds can congregate.

Recent outbreaks have been attributed to parties at seaside resorts such as Porto Rotondo in Sardinia, as well as to people returning from holidays abroad.

Passengers wearing protective masks have their temperatures checked as part of health security checks by a crew member as they board the cruise ship MSC Grandiosa before leaving the northwest port city of Genoa , in Italy, on August 16, 2020, after the lockdown was lifted several months ago to control the spread of the COVID-19, pandemic. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP via Getty Images

The government could even act to isolate Sardinia, one of the country’s busiest summer vacation areas, after an increase in coronavirus cases linked to the island, Corriere della Sera reported on Thursday, citing officials from the anonymous ministry.

Austria’s dark number

Austria said its recent peak can be attributed to vacationing returnees from Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia and other parts of the Western Balkans, as well as Turkey. Norway added Austria, along with the UK, Ireland and Greece, to the list of high-risk destinations on Wednesday, shortly after Austria expanded its own list to include the Balearic Islands Spanish.

As many as 300,000 Austrians – 12 times the official figure – may have been infected with the virus, a much higher factor for the so-called dark number than previously thought, the head of the health agency said Austrian AGES in a television interview on Wednesday evening.

People wearing protective gear stand near a table with test kits at a drive-in test station in St Wolfgang, Austria, July 26, 2020. The station was established to combat the growing numbers of coronavirus infections at the Upper Austrian tourist site of St Wolfgang. WERNER KERSCHBAUMMAYR / APA / AFP via Getty Images
Holidaymakers are seen near a pleasure boat embarkation point on the shores of Lake Wolfgangsee in St Wolfgang, Austria, July 24, 2020. BARBARA GINDL / APA / AFP via Getty Images

In the latest crackdown on travel to the region. the UK is expected to remove Croatia from its quarantine exemption list as early as Thursday, the Guardian reported, without specifying where it got the information. If the country is removed from the list, that would mean people arriving in the UK from Croatia will need to be quarantined for 14 days.

In Sweden, the government’s decision to adopt a light strategy to tackle the pandemic has pushed its death toll per capita several times higher than in the rest of the Nordic region.

However, the situation improved considerably in July. The rate of infections in the country is now converging with that of neighboring Denmark and Norway, where governments are telling citizens to use masks for the first time.


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