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Was it all for nothing? With Spain, France and Germany recording the highest number of COVID-19 cases since they emerged from lockdown, the danger that Europe blows its best chance of taming the novel coronavirus grows by the day.

The hope was that we could relax travel and social restrictions this summer because people are much less likely to catch the virus when they’re outside enjoying the warm weather. European economies depend on tourism and couldn’t afford a season of empty sun loungers and restaurants. Airlines and hotels would collapse without new bookings, and they implemented new hygiene measures to reassure customers. People were desperate to see friends and families again.

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