Traffic runs along the Champs-Elysee avenue near the Arc de Triomph in Paris, France on Friday March 19, 2021. French President Emmanuel Macron lockdowns several regions, including the Paris area, and slows the country’s economic recovery as it battles to contain a third wave of the coronavirus epidemic. Photographer: Cyril Marcilhacy / Bloomberg via Getty Images

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LONDON – Warnings of an exponential increase in infections in Germany and another month-long lockdown in Paris have underscored the dire situation across Europe as the coronavirus rises again.

The variant first discovered in Great Britain is seen as the reason for the new tip. The strain is reported to be much more virulent than the original.

The French capital and the northern parts of the country will be locked again on Friday, although schools and important shops remain open.

The seven-day average of new coronavirus cases in the country rose to over 25,000 this week for the first time since November.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a loosening of the locks in March. At that point, the number of infections per 100,000 people over seven days was 65.

But that number is now at 96 and there are real fears that infections at Easter might mirror what they were at Christmas.

“The increasing number of cases could mean that we will not be able to take any further opening steps in the coming weeks,” said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn at a press conference on Friday, according to Reuters.

“On the contrary, we may even have to go backwards.”

In Poland, according to Reuters, there was also a huge increase in infections with around 52% of new cases related to the variant from Great Britain.

The total number of cases for the country that was advanced was 2 million as of Friday, 25,998 in the last 24 hours.

– CNBC’s Bryn Bache contributed to this article.