As a second wave of coronavirus infections gathers momentum across Europe, the continent’s governments are determined to avoid large-scale lockdowns and instead seek less disruptive ways to live with the new disease.
France and Spain are on the leading edge of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases across Europe in the wake of the summer travel season, in some cases reaching levels of incidence on par with those in the U.S.
In response, authorities are enacting tailored, localized measures to combat outbreaks, while exhorting citizens to protect themselves and others by behaving prudently.
That marks a contrast with the broad shutdowns imposed when Covid-19 first hit Europe earlier this year. Those moves eventually contained the spread of the virus, but sent the region’s economies into their sharpest economic contraction since World War II.
The new wave of infections is concentrated among younger people. Most of those testing positive in recent weeks have no or only mild symptoms. Health experts caution that the pandemic could turn more dangerous in the winter, as people spend more time indoors.