Geneva: New restrictions have been unveiled across Europe as COVID-19 cases continue to rise on the continent, with several countries reporting record one-day rises in cases.
Among the new rules are wider mask mandates, restrictions on social gatherings and curbs to the hospitality industry, just months after the spread of infection was seemingly under control and restrictions were eased.
Italy, Germany and France all reported record single-day rises in cases, though that has not translated into the similar death counts seen in the early days of the pandemic.
To curb the spread, Paris has been declared a 'Maximum Alert Zone', meaning all bars are now closed, restaurants are open with strict conditions, and the playing of music and sale of alcohol after 10 pm has been prohibited.
On Wednesday 18,764 new cases were reported, as well as 80 coronavirus-related deaths.
COVID-19 patients now take up more than 40% of all intensive care unit beds across Ile-de-France, the region surrounding Paris.
In Italy, wearing masks is now mandatory in all indoor and outdoor spaces, and the government is attempting to combat the rise in cases by instituting local lockdowns to avoid closing businesses and schools nationwide again.