A worker at a Covid-19 testing station at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany on August 8.
A worker at a Covid-19 testing station at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany on August 8. Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images

European authorities are battling against further waves of the coronavirus pandemic. These are the latest developments from the continent:

Germany: More than 40% of people who recently tested positive for coronavirus in Germany were very likely infected abroad, data from the country’s infectious disease agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), indicated Tuesday night.

According to the latest figures, the proportion of new cases with links to international travel has risen dramatically since borders began to reopen and now sits at 42%. At the same time, the RKI pointed out the limited validity of the data given that people who have been abroad will be tested more frequently than the rest of the population.

On Wednesday, Germany reported 1,576 new cases of Covid-19 infections according to the RKI, bringing the total tally to 236,429 cases and 9,280 deaths. 

As numbers in Germany continue to rise, the city of Munich warned it will limit alcohol sales if coronavirus cases reach a certain threshold, authorities announced Tuesday night.

France: French health authorities reported a “strong rise” in virus transmission on Tuesday, adding that the situation in the country “remains worrying.”

A further 3,304 new cases were reported on Tuesday. By comparison, last Tuesday saw a rise of 2,238 cases, while the Tuesday before saw 1,397 new cases reported.

Face masks will be mandatory in the southern French city of Marseille, and bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m. local time in the wider Bouches-du-Rhône region, local authorities announced Tuesday.

These measures, which will come into effect on Wednesday night, were decided following a sharp acceleration of coronavirus cases in Marseille, which has an incidence rate of 177 per 100,000 compared to about 33 per 100,000 at the end of July, according to figures given by the regional prefecture Tuesday.

Spain: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced new measures on Tuesday to stop the spread of Covid-19, as he admitted “the situation is worrying”. 

Spain will deploy 2,000 military personnel to aid with contact tracing in Spanish regions where it is needed. Sánchez also called on the different regional governments to use the Radar contact tracing app as “if just 20% of people download the application, we can bring down thee contagion levels by 30%.” Only seven of the 17 Spanish regions are now using the app.

Meanwhile, the President of the Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, announced the circumstances under which the education centers will open in the capital. 

Díaz Ayuso said on Tuesday masks will be mandatory for children aged six and above at all times while in education centers. Catalonia’s President, Quim Torra, announced similar measures on Monday, saying children in Catalonia will have to wear masks at school from 12 years of age, and from the age of six in territories with “higher risk of contagion.”

In Spain, where regional governments retain responsibility and decision power on education and health, each of the regions will have to decide on measures for schools and other educational centers to reopen. 

People visit a beach in Porto Cervo, Italy, on August 18.
People visit a beach in Porto Cervo, Italy, on August 18. Emanuele Perrone/Getty Images

Italy: Italy has seen a steady increase in coronavirus cases in the past week, according to the country’s health ministry. Authorities said approximately 50% of new infections have been contracted during summer vacations, around the country and abroad, primarily among young adults who have not been cautious with social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.

Italy registered 519 new cases in the past day, bringing the total number of active cases to 19,714, according to Italian Ministry of Health data released Tuesday. Four people have died in the past 24 hours, bringing Italy’s death toll to 35,445, according to the ministry. 

United Kingdom: The UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said secondary school children in local lockdown regions in England will now be required to wear face masks, after the government revised its previous guidance.

In other areas of England — not covered by local lockdown restrictions — it will be at the headteacher’s discretion whether face masks should be worn.

The Scottish government has already announced that students over the age of 12 should wear masks in communal areas and while moving around schools. The Welsh government is considering its advice to students.

Ukraine: Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister, remains in serious condition, two days after contracting Covid-19, according to her party’s regional spokesperson. Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Natalia Kovalenko said several members of Tymoshenko’s close family are also ill with the virus. 

This post has been corrected to reflect that Marseille — not the Bouches-du-Rhône region — has an incidence rate of 177 cases per 100,000 residents.

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