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Europe Considers Lengthening COVID Lockdowns As Cases Climb

Germany is preparing to continue its nationwide lockdowns through the end of January, a report from Financial Times (FT) says.

Governments all across Europe are fighting to maintain control over mutating strains of the coronavirus which are more contagious.

Markus Soder, the premier of Bavaria and leader of the CSU, one of Germany’s governing parties, said on Sunday, after the heads of the country’s 16 states met virtually over the weekend, that easing restrictions prematurely would “set us back very far again.”

“The numbers are simply still far too high,” he said, according to the FT report. “As annoying as it is, we have to stay consistent and not give up too soon again.”

The new infections in Germany have been slightly less than they were on the run-up to Christmas, where the country had around 30,000 cases every day. On Sunday, Germany reported just over 10,300 — although FT notes that the cases are always reported less during the weekend.

That said, the seven-day infection rate still sits at over 140 per 100,000 residents, or more than three times the rate at which analysts said it would be safe to ease restrictions.

Lockdowns and increasing restrictions are on the rise again across various parts of Europe, including in the U.K., where the seven-day rolling rate still sits at 400 infections per 100,000 residents. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the country might be looking at more strict measures and delays in opening schools.

And in France, the government has moved a nightly curfew in 15 departments in the east and southeast back from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m., FT writes.

In November, PYMNTS wrote that the rising COVID cases came as people were showing signs of adapting to the new digital shopping styles, despite whatever government officials decide. A September survey from PYMNTS, prior to the vaccine news that came later in 2020, said consumers thought there was a likelihood the pandemic would last another 11 months.

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