Nobody wants a return to national lockdowns. The International Monetary Fund blames the “Great Lockdown” in the first half of 2020 for triggering the most significant economic downturn since the Great Depression. Instead, governments are hoping that more targeted “local lockdowns” might help pull down infection rates as the European winter begins.
In recent weeks, case numbers have been spiking across Europe. Paris and Madrid have already instituted extra restrictions, while the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has said further restrictions in the British capital are now “inevitable”. The winter hasn’t even begun yet, when people are more likely to spend time indoors with windows sealed, so experts are alarmed that the infection rate is already so high.
At what point do “local lockdowns” become national lockdowns in all but name? If broad swathes of the population find themselves in local lockdowns across Europe, then the distinction may become academic. Nevertheless, lessons have been learned from the first set of lockdowns and, clearly, governments will not want to bring forward new measures unless it is absolutely necessary.
Can European countries avoid a second lockdown? What does the situation look like in your country? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!