COVID-19: Fears of third wave grow in Europe

Fears of a third coronavirus wave are growing, with Germany among the countries warning of an "exponential growth" in infections.

Video Transcript

BECKY JOHNSON: The streets of Paris are once again eerily quiet. Fear of a third wave, with cases on the rise across Europe, is forcing new lockdowns to spread across the continent. With the restrictions, comes resentment.

INTERPRETER 1: It's exhausting, tiring. It's long. I hope it's going to end quite quickly.

INTERPRETER 2: It's quite sad to see the city completely dead, especially on [? Champs-Élysée. ?] We understand the health situation, but on the other hand, after one year and taking a step back, we tell ourselves that the political leaders could have taken better measures.

BECKY JOHNSON: Questions too about the effectiveness of the lockdown, as police check drivers amid claims people are leaving the capital to head to parts of the country where lockdown isn't in force. A rise in cases in Poland means drivers crossing the border into Germany now have to prove they've had a negative COVID test. A lockdown in Poland started this weekend, meaning schools now have to close again to some children. And all leisure activities and non-essential shops have had to close.


INTERPRETER 3: This is problematic for us, above all, because these decisions are made overnight. And we feel that they are not consulted with us. Of course, we are observing the situation in the country ourselves, so we know that it is serious, and it is indeed necessary to introduce changes that will help stop the pandemic.

BECKY JOHNSON: Across Europe, this frustration with the slow rollout of vaccines-- even though use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has now resumed-- the German Health Minister has warned there simply aren't enough vaccine doses in Europe to stop a third wave. With cases rising exponentially in the country, scientists say urgent action is needed.

DIRK BROCKMANN: We need to go back to the lockdown measures that were put in place before March. And we need to do that very soon. From the beginning of March, or March 9th around, you see a doubling period of about two weeks. So that would imply that by Easter, we have case counts that are comparable, or even higher, than what we observed during Christmas.

BECKY JOHNSON: Many Germans have been getting away while they still can. These tourists were arriving in the [? Yorker, ?] but with more restrictions seemingly inevitable, travel to Europe from the UK for May is looking increasingly in doubt. Becky Johnson, Sky News.