LONDON - Europe is preparing for a second wave of Covid-19 amid continuing outbreaks. The Belgian government has warned that the country could be put into a second “complete lockdown” and Catalonia says it may also have to reintroduce lockdown measures. Germany’s public health advisory body has said it is “deeply concerned” about the rise in cases and France has called for greater vigilance

Europe is bracing for a second wave of coronavirus as continuing outbreaks raise the prospect of reimposed restrictions at a time when millions of people are travelling across the continent for their summer holidays.

The Belgian government has warned that country could be put into a second “complete lockdown” following a significant spike in infections, while the Spanish region of Catalonia may also have to reintroduce lockdown measures if outbreaks are not brought under control within 10 days.

In France, the health minister has called for greater vigilance after a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in young people, and Germany’s public health advisory body has said it is “deeply concerned” about the rise in cases over the past few weeks.

On Monday, the regional president of Catalonia – one of the areas of Spain hardest hit by the virus’s resurgence – said the situation was similar to that before the national lockdown was introduced in March.

Nearly 8,000 cases have been diagnosed in Catalonia over the past 14 days – accounting for almost half of the 16,410 detected across Spain. In the neighbouring region of Aragón, where there has also been a rise in infections, 738 new cases were recorded on Friday and Saturday.

Many outbreaks have originated in bars and clubs, but other clusters have been traced to seasonal fruit and vegetable pickers, whose poor living and working conditions often make social distancing difficult.