France, Spain and Israel take more drastic actions to slow virus outbreak

As the virus spreads across Europe, Spain and Europe shut down most stores, restaurants and entertainment venues.

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French prime minister
French prime minister orders nonessential venues to shutter.
THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 14, 2020 - 6:12pm

Spain imposed a countrywide quarantine on Saturday and France ordered all non-essential stores, restaurants and theaters to shutter within 24 hours as officials across the globe took increasingly drastic measures to slow a rise in coronavirus cases.

Israel also took more strong actions as new concerns emerged about how and why the virus was spreading so widely.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said public services such as banks, grocery stores and pharmacies will be allowed to remain open but other venues like department stores, restaurants and cafes would be required to close by Sunday.

“We must show all together more discipline,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took similar action, ordering the shut down of restaurants, cafes and movie theaters by Sunday.

In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared a two-week state of emergency that essentially locks down most of his country the way Italy did earlier this week.

Sanchez said citizens will be allowed to leave their homes only to buy food and medicine, commute to work, or go to hospitals and banks, while all other venues are shuttered.