Coronavirus has swept across the world infecting more than 59 million people worldwide. In Europe, there have been more than 15.6m cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began with France reporting the highest number of cases followed by Russia, Spain and the UK. Express.co.uk explores how France, Germany and Spain are dealing with the covid crisis.
France has confirmed the four highest number of cases in the world.
As of November 23, there have been 2,140,208 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began.
In France, there have been 48,732 covid deaths.
The region of Ile-de-France has the highest number of cases, with 632,273 cases as of November 23.
French President Emmanuel Macron will announce a three-step plan on Tuesday which will include some light easing of the current lockdown restrictions ahead of Christmas, including the reopening of non-essential retail.
The French Government on Friday suggested it was ready to reopen shops in time for the crucial Christmas shopping period.
New data in the country suggesting the country is past the worst of its second wave encouraged officials to take this move.
France is currently in lockdown, which is due to end on December 1.
However, the Government has repeatedly claimed the lockdown may be extended if necessary.
The Government added it will continue to review the measures in effect in the country on a fortnightly basis and make any necessary changes as required.
Officials have yet to make a decision about Christmas, including whether trains will offer a fuller service over the holiday period.
Germany has the 13th highest number of coronavirus cases in the world at more than 930,000.
Currently, there are 933,325 coronavirus cases and 14,365 deaths.
The highest number of cases were in Nordrhein-Westfalen where 234,395 cases in total.
So far there have been 618,743 recoveries from the virus, with 300,317 active cases.
Germany altered its testing criteria ahead of winter changing its recommendations for who should be tested from November 11.
Previously anyone with COVID-19 symptoms could be tested, but now there is a special focus on people with more pronounced coronavirus symptoms.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to meet with Germany’s 16 state leaders on Wednesday, November 25, to decide the fate of the nation’s “lockdown lite”.
This “lockdown lite” includes shops remaining open and gatherings between two households permitted.
A draft proposal shows current restrictions will be extended until at least December 20, which means Christmas markets will likely remain closed.
Several senior Government officials are calling for an extension of these restrictions for this period.
Since the start of the pandemic, Spain has confirmed 1,556,730 cases of covid, meaning Spain has had the sixth-highest number of cases in the world.
In total, the country has recorded 42,619 deaths during the pandemic.
The country has recorded less than 400 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days.
This is a radical decrease compared to almost 530 cases at the beginning of November.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday announced the country will have vaccinated a large part of its 47 million population against coronavirus by mid-2021.
Last month the country implemented a state of emergency enabling regional Governments to impose virus restrictions such as nighttime curfew and limitations on inter-regional travel.
Health Minister Salvador Illa will meet with regional health experts on Wednesday to discuss plans for restrictions over the Christmas period.
Some regions of Spain have already eased their lockdown restrictions, with bars and restaurants reopening today in Catalonia, but the nation remains in a state of emergency and overnight curfews are still in force.
In terms of Christmas, choices regarding the festive season will be in the control of Spain’s autonomous regions to decide.
Mr Illa has, however, made it clear that caution will be required as infection rates remain stubbornly high.