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Paris under curfew. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The coronavirus is still winning: Now even Germany is entering another national lockdown, joined by France.

Why it matters: France has been "overpowered by a second wave,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a nationally televised address today. Macron said the "new wave will be stronger and deadlier" than the first.

The big picture: Hospitalizations are spiking in Europe, just like in the U.S.

  • German hospitalizations have doubled in the last 10 days, Chancellor Angela Merkel said today.
  • Dutch hospitals "have reached their limits" and they're sending patients to Germany, Reuters reports.
  • Russia says hospital beds are at 90% of capacity in 16 of its regions.

Between the lines: Europe's second lockdown will look a lot different.

  • Schools and child care will stay open.
  • It won't be as hard to visit assisted living facilities or go to funerals.
  • Germany's lockdown will end by Dec. 1.
  • France's runs through at least Dec. 1, but also requires daily infections to fall below 5,000.
  • There have been over 36,000 new cases in France in the last 24 hours.

The countries are also propping up affected sectors.

  • The German government will provide 75% compensation to small and midsize businesses hurt by the closures.

The bottom line: “Within weeks, we will reach the limits of our health system,” Merkel said today.

  • “It is completely clear that we must act, and act now, to prevent a national health crisis.”

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California — America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron — CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers.
  2. Politics: Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come — Meta removes accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China.
  3. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  4. World: Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people — Omicron variant detected in more countriesWHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.