French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered their countries back into lockdown on Wednesday as a massive second wave of coronavirus infections threatened to overwhelm Europe before the winter. World stock markets went into a dive in response to the news that Europe’s biggest economies were imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations. Under the new French measures which take effect on Friday, people will be required to stay in their homes except to buy essential goods, seek medical attention, or exercise for up to one hour a day. They will be permitted to go to work if their employer deems it impossible for them to do the job from home. Schools will stay open. Germany will shut bars, restaurants and theatres from November 2 to 30 under measures agreed between Mrs Merkel and heads of regional governments. Schools will stay open, and shops will be allowed to operate with strict limits on access.
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