The German government announced on Wednesday that authorities would implement a month-long nationwide partial lockdown, as Europe’s largest economy grapples with a surge of COVID-19 cases. 

"We are in a very serious situation,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference."We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency."

The “lockdown light” will begin on Nov. 2, with restaurants and bars closed across the country, except for takeout orders. Tourists will not be allowed to stay overnight in hotels, with public recreation centers such as pools, gyms and saunas also being shut down. 

Movie theaters will be closed, with large public events being cancelled. Employers will be encouraged to have employees work from home. 

At the same time, shops will remain open, albeit at a limited capacity. Church gatherings and demonstrations will also be allowed.

COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in Germany, reaching a daily record of 14,714 new infections on Saturday. Merkel has been reluctant to enact a full lockdown, due to its impact on economic growth. 

The German economy likely grew by around 6% in the third quarter, according to the German Institute For Economic Research (DIW). These new COVID-19 restrictions could impede further GDP growth in the fourth quarter of the year. 

Germany’s neighbor, France, also announced a month-long lockdown on Wednesday. France has witnessed more than 36,000 new infections in the last 24 hours. 

"We have been overwhelmed by the rapid acceleration of Covid-19," French President Emmanuel Macron told citizens in a televised primetime speech, putting all French regions on “high alert.”

French citizens can only leave home for essential functions, such as going to work or school or for physical exercise. Shopping for essential items, going to a medical appointment or going out to help loved ones are also allowed. 

Other European nations are deploying similar measures. Italy has shut down gyms, pools and movie theaters, and imposed a curfew on restaurants and cafes.