Governments across Europe are bringing in tougher restrictions in a frantic effort to contain the second wave sweeping the continent.
More than 700,000 new cases were reported in Europe last week, up 34 per cent on the week before, the World Health Organisation said today.
Deaths have also started to rise, up 16 per cent in the same time frame.
"I am watching with great concern the renewed increase in infections in almost every part of Europe. And I must say the situation continues to be serious," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
"We mustn't throw away what we achieved via restrictions over the past months," she added.
Despite the surge, governments are desperate not to return to the kind of national lockdowns imposed in the northern spring. They are relying instead on a patchwork of restrictions according to local or regional conditions.
Tarik Jasarevic, spokesman for the WHO, said that general lockdowns should be a "last resort".
Italy adopted an array of measures to combat an alarming increase in cases, with around 5000 reported each day. Among them is a ban on all school excursions. Bars and restaurants must now close before midnight and drinking while standing at a bar will be banned after 9pm.
"We must avoid plunging the country into a general lockdown, the economy has started to move fast again," said Giuseppe Conte, the Prime Minister.
The Government strongly advised Italians not to hold parties at home or to socialise with more than six people at any one time.
Receptions held after weddings, christenings and first communions must cater for no more than 30 people.
Wearing masks outdoors was made compulsory last week, with most people conforming to the rule.
As the second wave has swept across Spain, it has become a patchwork of different types of lockdown, involving varying restrictions applied under different epidemiological parameters.
Last week, Spain's national government reintroduced a state of emergency to cover the region of Madrid, where the local authority disagreed with the need to ban non-essential traffic in and out of the capital.
Pubs and restaurants will close in the Czech Republic today and almost all schools will shift to distance learning.
Drinking alcohol in public has also been prohibited and the Government is urging people to stay at home and only travel to work if necessary.
The country has seen infections rocket in recent days, hitting a record high on Saturday of 8615. On the last day of August, only 273 cases were recorded.
With around 493 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, the Czech Republic is now the most affected EU state, and the Government has warned the health system could collapse in a fortnight.
The Netherlands ordered cafes and restaurants to close and banned evening alcohol sales, as it entered "partial lockdown" to curb rising coronavirus infections.
Authorities announced there had been 7393 infections in 24 hours, a new record.
A Dutch woman with underlying conditions died after catching coronavirus for a second time.
Groups of people will be limited to four, both inside and outside. A maximum of three visitors per day will be allowed per household.
"We are going to a partial lockdown", Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister, said. "That hurts, but it's the only way."