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As Coronavirus Cases Surge, France and Germany Shut Down Bars and Restaurants

Plus, pour one out for these closing IHOP and Applebee’s locations, and more news to start your day

A street with empty outdoor tables in France.
Emptied restaurants 20 minutes before 9 p.m. in Toulouse, one of the French cities with local curfews before the government instituted a national one.
Photo by Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

European countries shut down bars, restaurants, and other nonessential businesses as part of second-wave lockdown measures

France and Germany are shutting down restaurants, bars, and other businesses and public sites again in an attempt to curb coronavirus infections, which in the past month have spiked sharply across Europe, recently topping 200,000 new cases a day. This second wave comes after a summer of loosened restrictions and a return to economic activity following the initial wave in the spring, when countries like Italy, Spain, France, and the U.K. imposed strict lockdowns.

In France, nonessential businesses, including bars and restaurants, will close, although schools and some sites of economic activity — factories, farms, etc. — will stay open. Social gatherings are banned, and similar to measures in March, people will need to fill out and carry a form to justify leaving their homes. Working from home is expected when possible.

Germany is imposing a partial lockdown starting in November. Restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, and salons will be closed, while schools and essential businesses like supermarkets will remain open. Unlike in the U.S., the government will compensate small and midsize businesses affected by the closures.

Italy has adopted restrictive measures in a risky piecemeal fashion throughout the month, culminating in an order to close restaurants and bars early each night and shut down theaters and gyms, while other businesses, schools, and museums, remain open.

Belgium, currently one the region’s biggest coronavirus hotspots, has instituted a curfew, shut down restaurants, bars, museums, and gyms, and people are being asked to work from home if possible.

Spain has declared a state of emergency and instituted a curfew.

The U.K., where daily positive cases have risen to about 24,000, currently faces pressure to follow France and Germany in imposing nationwide lockdown measures.

Unlike earlier lockdowns, many of these countries’ measures will last about a month, with the hopes of acting as a “circuit breaker,” per the New York Times.

And in other news…

  • American consumers are starting to stockpile food again amid a surge in coronavirus cases. This time, food companies say they’re better prepared to meet the demand. [Bloomberg]
  • Spices have been booming as more people cook at home, but some manufacturers are concerned about where to get the packaging materials they need. [WaPo]
  • As many as 99 IHOP locations are expected to close in the next six months, along with 15 Applebee’s restaurants. [Restaurant Business]
  • A new app seeks to turn out-of-work chefs into freelance gig workers hireable for private meals and events. That’s certainly an idea! [Forbes]
  • Wendy’s is running a “scare-thru” (a haunted drive-thru) in LA for Halloween. [Stuff in LA]
  • A tiny restaurant for a tiny friend. [Today]

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