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Most of Europe is tightening its anti-epidemic rules as the virus grows

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Rome (AP) – Stricter restrictions on coronavirus infections hit parts of Italy and Poland on Monday, with France in danger of closing on weekends in France as ICUs close to saturating COVID-19 patients.

According to a decision by the Italian government late last week, 80% of schoolchildren had been locked out of their classrooms through kindergartens through high schools since Monday. The ever-increasing number of HIV beds in COVID-19 patients, the steadily increasing daily workload, and the transmission of the virus, mainly due to a viral variant found in Britain, including for the first time since the color system was introduced last autumn in Lazio, Rome.

In the Red Zone, restaurants and cafes can only pick up or drop off, unnecessary shops are closed, և residents must stay home, except for work, health or shopping. On weekends, many hairdressers extended their hours to serve last-minute customers; before the pressure went into effect, crowds gathered in shopping streets, parks, and beach parks.

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Reality sank on Monday.

In a country where coffee is properly consumed, at a coffee shop counter or table, not with a paper cup to take out, Alessandra Lorisa took off her mask and drank in a Roman piazza. “Now it has become a part of our daily life,” he said. “It’s much more American if we can say so,” he said, adding that he hoped “after Easter we would see some improvement to return to the regimes we were used to.”

On Friday, Draghi promised fast-paced epidemic aid to businesses that had closed.

Beyond the commercial aspects, parents expressed concern that children would be locked out of classrooms. “They have little contact with their friends now, they have to celebrate their birthday alone,” said Marco Pacchiani as he walked with his young son in a park in Rome.

In Poland, amid a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized with new infections, restrictions have been tightened in two regions, including the capital, Warsaw, and the western German state. Two more states were already under siege.

Hotels and shopping malls, such as theaters, cinemas, fitness clubs and sports facilities, should be closed under tighter measures. Schoolchildren aged 6-9 will have a combination of classroom and distance learning.

The growing number of patients being treated in French hospitals, particularly in the Paris region, is putting increasing pressure on the government of President Emanuel Macron. As is the case in other European countries, virus variants are suspected of fueling serious cases in France. The Macron government tried to end the nationwide punitive blockade in 2021, instead choosing a curfew from 6pm to 6am.

It is expected that the Paris region will be decided in a few days, its 12 million inhabitants will be closed over the weekend.

Last week, the Western Balkans announced tougher measures amid growing incidents in Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro.

Upon receiving the first vaccines on Wednesday, doctors in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, warned that the virus had spread in the past few days. The bars, restaurants and junk shops of Sarajevo Canton will be closed for the coming weekend.

In Serbia, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic criticized the band’s recent two concerts in a hall in Belgrade. The country of 7 million has vaccinated more than 1.5 million people, which is one of the highest rates in Europe.

On the western edge of the continent, Portugal stood out as a suburb. It came out of a two-month blockade on Monday, and over the next seven weeks the country gradually reopened, banning bans.

Preschools, kindergartens, hairdressing salons, and bookstores were among the places that reopened on Monday. Prime Minister Antonio Costa tweeted on Monday that the process should be “very prudent, gradual and large-scale.”


AP journalists from all over Europe contributed to this report.

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