In an address to the nation on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said France will go back on a nationwide lockdown starting Friday, in a bid to contain the COVID-19 outbreak that's spiraling out of control.
"After exchanging with all our European partners and weighing the good points and bad points, I've decided that we needed, starting from Friday, to again put in place the lockdown that had stopped the virus."
The latest measures mean people will have to stay in their homes except to buy essential goods, seek medical attention, or for one-hour of exercise a day.
People will still be allowed to go to work if their employer deems it impossible for them to work from home.
Different from the previous lockdown in March, most schools will remain open.
The lockdown comes as France reported 523 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, its highest daily death toll since April.
At over 35-thousand, France's is the seventh highest in the world.
In Italy, the country reported 24,911 new cases on Wednesday, yet another daily record.
It was also the second straight day in which the country reported more than 20-thousand new cases.
The country also reported 205 deaths, bringing the total death toll to 37,905, second only to the U.K. in Europe.
The European Commission on Wednesday announced that it will launch more actions to help limit the spread.
They aim to ramp up testing, bolster contact tracing, improve preparations for vaccination campaigns, while maintaining access to essential supplies, including vaccines and related equipment.
The Commission says that, even though member states are better prepared and more coordinated than in the early months of the pandemic, people continue to face an unprecedented risk to their health and well-being.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.