The Covid-19 outbreak has spread through several countries in Europe. Here are some of the latest updates about the coronavirus and what you can do to keep yourself safe.
Coronavirus Updates in Europe
Latest Updates on the Coronavirus in Europe
Latest Updates on the Coronavirus in Europe
March 24, 2020
- US, Europe have 85% of new coronavirus cases, UN says.
- Germany reported an additional 4,764 confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the country’s total to 27,436
- Coronavirus cases increasing at a slower rate in hardest-hit part of Italy
- The French finance minister warned the nation’s economy will shrink by 1% because of the coronavirus crisis, and could contract further.
March 23, 2020
- The British government is prepared to do more to force people to keep apart if necessary, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said.
- McDonald’s and Nando’s will close all their restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland starting today, including for takeout, to help limit the spread.
- Germany has reported 86 deaths and a total of 22,672 cases of coronavirus.
- Swiss health authorities reported 956 more coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of people tested positive in Switzerland and Liechtenstein to 8,060.
- Italy shows first positive signs of flattening the curve, as the country reports lower number of new cases.
- Situation in Spain continues to worsen, as the country repurposes existing building as new COVID-19 treatment pavilion.
- Angela Merkel tests negative for coronavirus.
- UK finally announces lockdown — but the lockdown is not a lockdown.
March 22, 2020
- Europe coronavirus toll soars as Asia braces for second wave.
- Spain situation increasingly looking Lombardia.
- Coronavirus could linger in Europe for 2 years, Chinese expert claims.
- Over 150,000 cases in Europe.
- Europe’s quarantine, as seen from the sky.
- Coronavirus: Facebook slows down in Europe to avoid congestion.
- Controversy about 100,000 face masks sent from China to Italy and reportedly confiscated and then stolen in the Czech Republic.
- Germany bans gatherings.
March 21, 2020
- Vaccine researcher: ‘Everything is so new’ about the coronavirus.
- In Italy, the coronavirus seems to take a higher toll on men.
- Spain reaches grisly milestone — cases continue to soar.
- Britain panic buying is ‘shameful’, says NHS chief.
- Coronavirus is a crucial test for the EU.
- How Asian countries acted quickly while others faltered.
- Suspicions loom over Russia’s low number of cases — lower than Luxembourg.
- 35 American soldiers in Europe have the coronavirus.
- An extra 8,000 beds, nearly 1,200 ventilators, and almost 20,000 fully qualified staff will be available in the UK from next week.
- Swiss cases surge, as country urges seniors to stay home.
- Lombardy announces even stricter measures.
- EU makes major budget adaptations to prepare for coronavirus crisis.
- EU seals borders to most outsiders.
- Pressure to delay Brexit talks as coronavirus crisis looms nearer and nearer.
March 20, 2020
- Dutch health authorities confirmed 534 new cases of coronavirus and 30 new deaths, bringing the Netherlands’ total to 2,994 cases and 106 deaths.
- Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic soared to 1,002 from 767. The number of registered cases in the country rose to 19,980.
- The number of coronavirus cases recorded in Belgium surged past 2,000, while the number of deaths attributed to the COVID-19 disease jumped by 16 to a total of 37.
- France is only at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis and is in a race to curb its progress, President Emmanuel Macron said.
March 19, 2020
- EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has tested positive for COVID-19.
- The Cannes Film Festival, set to be held in May, has been postponed amid the rampant spread of the coronavirus.
March 18, 2020
- The European Union will impose an entry ban on travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
- Football’s Euro2020 Championship will be postponed for a year. The French Open tennis tournament has been postponed by four months.
- European leaders voted to close off at least 26 countries to nearly all visitors from the rest of the world for at least 30 days.
- Spain reported a total of 13,716 cases of coronavirus, representing an increase of 18% daily (2,538) of new positives. The death toll reached 558, an increase of 67 fatalities.
- Poland’s Foreign Ministry said it is expecting the delivery of 10,000 coronavirus test kits and additional protective medical equipment from China.
March 17, 2020
- France’s interior minister ordered citizens to keep their movements to a strict minimum. The fine for being in violation of the new rules would start at around $42
- The French government also announced a relief package that would include postponing or slashing taxes
- Germany is spending more than $55 million on logistics and flights to bring home its citizens
- The situation in Spain gets more difficult as the number of cases grows. At least 491 people have died in the country and there have been 11,178 confirmed cases.
March 16, 2020
- Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said there’s a strong consensus to seal off the EU to travel from non-EU countries
- Jérôme Salomon, a top official in France’s health ministry, said 300 to 400 people infected with the virus in the country are in critical condition.
- France closed all non-indispensable businesses. The number of French cases has passed 5,400, with 127 deaths.
- Spain has about 8,000 cases and about 300 deaths and now has the highest number of cases in Europe after Italy.
- Finland’s government will pass emergency legislation tomorrow to close all its schools and universities from Wednesday, among other measures
March 15, 2020
- Stocks of hand sanitizers reportedly depleting throughout Europe.
- Officially the worst day for coronavirus in Europe.
- Active cases in Italy outnumber those in China, continue to rise.
- WHO warns Europe against delaying coronavirus measures.
- Fear and fragmentation is not what Europe needs. A call for solidarity.
- EU calls for screening at borders.
- Spain and France announce more restrictions.
- The number of cases in most European countries continues to grow at a quick rate.
March 14, 2020
- Spain and Romania announce emergency.
- Severe restrictions in France. Most restaurants closed.
- US travel ban on Europe kicks off. Decision is unjustified and unhelpful, panic ensues at several airports.
- The UK approach is notedly different from all other countries. UK lawmakers claim this is the more efficient strategy in the long run and refuse to shut down. Critics of this strategy are numerous, including Lancet chief editor, who labeled this “playing roulette” with people’s lives.
- Apple shuts down all physical stores outside of China.
- The US will extend the travel ban to the UK — after initially exempting the country.
- Alibaba owner Jack Ma donates two million masks to Europe.
- Several countries are closing borders to tourists.
March 13, 2020
- The coronavirus outbreak is a test for Europe’s cohesion and alliance, maybe even its democracy.
- Much of Europe could share Italy’s fate, experts warn.
- Germany has pledged “unlimited funds” to help businesses fight the economic effects of the outbreak. Merkel announces focus on saving as many lives as humanly possible.
- France shuts schools, announces more quarantime measures.
- The UK’s national strategy is notedly different from that of other countries.
- Europe is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization reports.
- A London Underground driver has tested positive for coronavirus, The Telegraph reports.
- Bulgaria has declared a state of emergency in response to the outbreak, according to Reuters.
- The Portuguese government has issued a state of alert and ordered the closure of schools and universities. The opening hours of shopping centers will also be limited, in order to avoid overcrowding, The Guardian adds. Portugal currently has 78 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
March 12, 2020
- The Czech Republic has announced new border checkpoints. This move is seen as a following the lead of President Trump’s travel ban — for better or for worse.
- To avoid overload and infection, doctors in Germany are now allowed to grant sick leave to patients over the phone. The rules apply to patients with COVID-19, but also to those suffering from a cold.
- Elsewhere, Denmark announced it will close all schools and universities and will start sending home all employees in the public sector with non-critical jobs in the coming days. Denmark has 514 people diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Ireland reports its first death related to COVID-19, an elderly woman with an underlying health condition. The number of new cases in the Republic has climbed by 9 to 43, up from 34.
- Ireland is closing all schools and cultural institutions until March 29. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that the closure applies to schools, colleges, childcare facilities, and cultural institutions. All indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor events with more than 500 are also canceled. The decision will enter into effect at 6 p.m. Thursday.
- “The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to [institute] a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation,” said EU Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a joint statement.
- President Trump ordered a ban on travel from Europe for 30 days, according to The New York Times; the restriction does not apply to the UK. The measure was taken “to stem the spread of the coronavirus”. A Belgian ambassador in DC (who asked to remain anonymous) said Europe didn’t expect anything “this drastic,” according to CNN, adding that he doesn’t understand why the UK was made exempt.
- Greece reported its first death from a coronavirus infection. The patient who a 66-year-old man who had returned from a pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt at the end of February, and died on Thursday.
- As of Wednesday, Greece has 99 confirmed coronavirus cases. Local news reports that a further 341 passengers and 77 crew are on lockdown on the ferry “Blue Star Mykonos”, docked at the island of Limnos. They were placed in quarantine as a precaution after a crew member reported feeling unwell and broke into a fever.
- The Greek government announced the introduction of a special-purpose leave from work specifically for the coronavirus. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen postponed a planned visit to the country due to the outbreak.
- At least three departments of the UK Government — HM Revenue and Customs, the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office — are testing remote-work systems, writes Rajeev Syal for The Guardian. The plan is to allow thousands of staff to work from home for several months at a time. These steps are being taken “in preparation for asking thousands of civil servants to stay away from central London offices if the disease spreads dramatically”.
- Iceland has 90 confirmed Covid-19 cases in a population of 364,000, giving it one of the highest infection rate in the world. San Marino (a microstate in the Italian peninsula, population 30,000) has confirmed over 60 cases.
- Uk Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Nadine Dorries and one of her staff have previously been tested positive for the coronavirus. Now, the Minister of State for Health at the Department of Health Edward Argar and an unnamed Cabinet minister have also been forced to self-isolate, according to The Guardian.
March 11, 2020
- COVID-19 has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
- Italy exceeds 10,000 cases.
- “Is the priority health or business?” — a decision countries are increasingly confronted with.
- Polish Senate speaker falsely claims Italy’s Chinese community responsible for bringing coronavirus. This is not the time for xenophobia or hate speech.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel cites experts: up to 70% the population could be infected by the new coronavirus, she says.
- UK announced measures to contain financial fallout following the coronavirus.
- Hungary declares state of emergency.
- Half of Spain’s cases are around the Madrid area.
- EU bans wasteful ‘ghost flights‘.
- EU publishes budget to tackle coronavirus outbreak.
March 10, 2020
- UK health minister diagnosed with coronavirus. She is currently self-isolating.
- As of 10 March 2020, 14,890 cases have been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK: Italy (9 172), France (1 412), Spain (1 204), Germany (1 139), Netherlands (321), United Kingdom (321), and Sweden (248) have the most cases.
- European countries are starting to enact severe measures. Multiple countries have outlawed mass public events and announced bans on people entering their territories from virus-affected states.
- Schools have been closed in several European countries, along with a ban on large gatherings.
- Austria has imposed a travel ban on all arrivals from Italy except for medical emergencies.
- Many flights to and from Italy have been cancelled.
- The leaders of the EU 27 agreed to fund the search for a vaccine, allowing greater flexibility for member states to subsidise hard-hit companies, and pledged to invest €25bn in parts of the economy devastated by the epidemic.
- Italy is the worst-hit country after China, with cases of the virus confirmed in all 20 Italian regions.
March 9, 2020
- Economic woes are piling up: many suspect Europe is already in a recession due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- After Cyprus reports its first case, all EU countries now have at least one case.
- European companies are increasingly asking for government support to pass this crisis.
- Italy has imposed a national quarantine, just 2 days after the area of Lombardy was quarantine.
- “Now that the virus has a foothold in so many countries, the threat of a pandemic has become very real,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. But he expressed some optimism: “It would be the first pandemic that could be controlled,” Tedros added. “The bottom line is we are not at the mercy of the virus.”
- Virtually all governments are urging all but essential travel to be postponed or cancelled.
What you can do to fight the coronavirus outbreak:
- Wash your hands. You’ve heard this a million times, and there’s a reason for it: it works. Soap and water is your best option, but sanitizer also works if applied correctly. Wash hands thoroughly for 20+ seconds.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Disinfect commonly touched objects — especially your phone, but also things like doorknobs.
- Clean your room and bathroom. This is is good hygienic practice in general, but a preliminary study suggests that disinfecting your room is effective at removing the virus. Here is a list of EPA-approved disinfectants.
- Cough and sneeze in your elbow or in a tissue that you immediately dispose of safely.
- If you can work from home, do that.
- Practice (temporary) social distancing. Avoid large gatherings, try to stay 1+ meter (3+ feet) away from people.
- Plan ahead, but be considerate. Consider some preparations in anticipation of social distancing or supply chain shortages, but don’t take more than you need and be considerate of others in your community. Your best chance of not getting sick is if your local community doesn’t get sick.
- Be aware, prepared, but not panicked.