The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Thursday released its latest risk assessment on the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating infection rates have increased steadily across the EU and the UK since August.
It added that measures taken thus far have not been sufficient to lower or contain the virus.
According to Stella Kyriakides, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, it's crucial that EU member states roll out all necessary measures at the first sign of a new outbreak, including stepping up testing and contact tracing, improving public healthcare surveillance, ensuring better access to personal protective equipment and medicines and ensuring sufficient health capacity.
The assessment also revealed that Europeans have not been properly following non-pharmaceutical interventions.
This includes a lack of physical distancing, hygiene and the scant use of face masks.
In Germany, a number of government ministers are in self-quarantine, including the Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier,.. who may have come into contact with an aide of another EU minister who tested positive.
Altmaier is the second German cabinet member to go into self-quarantine, after Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
After reporting over two-thousand new cases on Thursday, the German city of Munich has now made face masks compulsory in some busy outdoor spaces, and may even consider a ban on alcohol.
The French city of Marseille has been ordered by the central government to close all bars and restaurants in the city starting this weekend.
France's health minister says the city had been designated a “maximum alert” zone due to a concerning rise in infections that is overwhelming local hospitals.
City officials have lashed out at the decision,.. calling it "collective punishment" that was taken without consultation.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.