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the coronavirus crisis

Following surge in coronavirus cases, European countries impose strict new restrictions

New coronavirus restrictions are being implemented across Europe, due to a rising tide of infections in all corners of the continent.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said the infection rate "has been increasing for 77 days," and last week, more than 700,000 new cases were reported, a 36 percent weekly increase, NPR reports. With an average of 100,000 cases being reported daily, Europe is seeing its highest coronavirus numbers ever.

On Wednesday night, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that starting Saturday, Paris and eight other "health emergency zones" will have nightly curfews, and violators will face steep fines. Italy reported more than 7,300 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the country's largest one-day total, and the government will soon limit sporting events, school activities, and other gatherings.

The Czech Republic has the highest number of infections per capita in Europe, and on Wednesday, all schools were closed and now bars and restaurants can only offer takeout, before closing at 8 p.m. All nonessential medical procedures have also been canceled. For the next 15 days in Catalonia, all bars and restaurants can only offer food and drinks to go, and there will be limits on how many people can enter malls, gyms, and theaters. Catalan Vice President Pere Aragonés called the coronavirus statistics "very worrying," and said these strict measures must be done to "avoid a lockdown in coming weeks."