France's President Emmanuel Macron says the time has come to put a "brutal brake" on transmission of the coronavirus before the country's hospitals are completely overwhelmed. Macron announced Wednesday that a full national lockdown will begin Friday and last until at least Dec. 1, the Guardian reports. Daily deaths in the country are now at their highest level since April and 36,437 new cases were announced Tuesday. Under the new lockdown regulations, nonessential businesses including restaurants and bars will be closed. Macron said people will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential work or medical reasons, or to buy essential goods or exercise near their homes, though unlike the spring lockdown, most schools and factories will remain open.
"We are all in Europe surprised by the speed of spread of the virus," Macron said. "We are overwhelmed by a second wave, that will be harder and more fatal than the first." He said that as in the eight-week spring lockdown, social gatherings will be banned and people will have to fill in a form explaining why they need to leave their homes, the BBC reports. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that to avoid a "national emergency," a limited lockdown will begin Nov. 2, with bars and restaurants shut down but school remaining open. Countries including Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria, and Greece have also reintroduced restrictions as cases surge, reports the AP. (Read more France stories.)