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"Europe Aims to Emerge Smarter From Latest Lockdowns"

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and director of FSPH's Center for Global and Immigrant Health, about decisions by multiple European countries’ governments to reinstate pandemic-containment regimes similar to those imposed in the spring to deal with a surge in infection across the continent.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

One by one, governments across Europe are reintroducing strict new measures to tame a resurgent pandemic after concluding that light-touch strategies aimed at containingCovid-19 have failed to keep infections in check.

Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Austria and Belgium are all now back under pandemic-containment regimes similar to those imposed in the spring, with bars and restaurantsshut and people’s freedom to socialize with others curtailed. Schools by and large remain open, though, and governments have expressed hope the new restrictions will be lifted within weeks.

Some public-health experts say the reimposition of lockdowns shows the middle-way policies deployed over the summer, such as restrictions targeted at specific places ordemographic groups, haven’t succeeded in curbing the spread of the virus. Newcoronavirus cases in the European Union and the U.K. are running in excess of 175,000 aday on average, according to the latest official tallies, while in the U.S. daily cases arearound 80,000. Without tougher action, these governments say hospitals in many places will be overwhelmed in weeks.