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Conte announces new coronavirus restrictions Nov. 4 in Rome. Photo: Alessandro Serranò/Getty Images

European leaders are learning that the longer you wait to address the coronavirus, the harsher the mitigation measures to address an exponentially growing caseload must be.

Driving the news: Much of Italy will be placed under a strict lockdown as of Friday in the most drastic steps the country has taken to fight the coronavirus since it led the world into lockdown nearly eight months ago, Axios' Dave Lawler reports.

  • Italy managed to keep the spread of the virus largely under control for months after a brutal first wave. But like much of Europe, it's currently recording unprecedented daily case counts and scrambling to avoid a return to overcrowded hospitals and climbing death tolls in the coming weeks.
  • Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that the strictest policies would be implemented in four regions rather than nationwide.

England's second lockdown begins today, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament was the only option for avoiding a "medical and moral disaster."

  • Johnson had previously resisted taking such drastic action, "rejecting calls from scientists who advise the government, and from the opposition Labour Party, for an earlier but shorter lockdown," per the NYT.

The bottom line: "Europe is a great cautionary tale" for the month ahead in the U.S., Brown's Ashish Jha told me earlier this week.

  • An outbreak can't be controlled overnight, and the longer it's left alone, the more intense the policy responses are that would be required to control it.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.

The biggest pandemic labor market drags

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

State economies most exposed to industries that have been slow to bounce back from the pandemic shutdown — like tourism — are seeing the worst labor market pain.

Why it matters: Even states that have the coronavirus more under control than others are taking harder economic hits, thanks to their dependence on sectors slammed by the pandemic.

13 hours ago - Health

Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is ramping up, with three major candidates now reporting efficacy rates of more than 90%.

Why it matters: Health experts say the world can't fully return to normal until a coronavirus vaccine is widely distributed. But each potential vaccine has its own nuances, and it's likely that multiple vaccines will be needed in order to supply enough doses for universal vaccination.