Germany and France get to grips with new lockdown

Mixed emotions for residents across two of Europe’s biggest economies on Thursday (October 29) - as Germany and France each prepare to enter nationwide lockdowns.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a month-long lockdown from November 2, which will include the closure of restaurants, gyms and theaters.

Restrictions were also imposed to limit indoor gatherings to two households, as concerns that hospitals will be overwhelmed mount.

Berliners were coming to terms with the latest government measures, including local resident Johannes Meyer.

"This has been going on for nearly a year and, ok, the measures are correct but it can't be that we wind the economy down again. So many people are suffering, restaurants, the travel industry. I work in consultancy and see it all. It isn't manageable."

Merkel also said on Thursday preparations for a coronavirus vaccination program in Germany were underway.

France swiftly joined Germany in announcing it would also be re-entering lockdown, in order to turn the tide against a second wave of COVID-19.

President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation to say action was needed to stop the virus spiraling out of control.

The month-long rules come into force on Friday (October 30) and have some key differences to what’s happening in Germany.

People have to stay in their homes except to buy essential goods, seek medical attention, or use their daily one-hour allocation of exercise.

Schools and nurseries will remain open, but scientists have already cast doubt on how effective the measures will be.

The actions of France and Germany have not gone unnoticed in the UK - and have added pressure for it to rethink its own lockdown policy.

For now, Britain - which is also one of Europe's biggest economies - has said it is sticking to regional measures in an attempt to control the virus.