ROME—Europe is bracing for a second wave of COVID-19 as the busy tourist season reaches its peak this weekend.
In France, the government on Friday declared the cities of Paris and Marseilles and the surrounding regions “red zones” after a spike in new cases sent authorities scrambling to contain outbreaks largely driven by visiting tourists and careless young people.
On Thursday, France reported more than 2,500 new infections of COVID-19 for the second day in a row, taking the country back to mid-April levels, when much of Europe was on lockdown.
The situation isn’t much better in Spain, where officials there warn of a “critical moment” after the military was dispatched to the northeastern city of Zaragoza to rebuild a field hospital that was taken down four months ago.
Spain has an infection rate of 100 per 100,000, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, which is the highest in Europe after the tiny country of Luxembourg.
France has a rate of 32 cases per 100,000.
The United Kingdom, which came into coronavirus restrictions later than much of the rest of Europe, has added France to the list of countries, including Spain, from which visitors must now quarantine for 14 days upon entry, sparking anger among travelers who are still on holiday in France.
Italy, which was once the Eurozone’s epicenter for the virus, has a rate of just 8.2 cases per 100,000, but the country is still under very strict guidelines, including a face-mask mandate in all public spaces since March. France, by comparison, only mandated face coverings indoors on July 20.