As of 17 March 2020, all countries within Europe had a confirmed case of COVID-19, with Montenegro the last European country to report at least one case. In 18 countries, at least one death has been reported.
As of 13 March 2020, cases by country across Europe had doubled over periods of typically 3 to 4 days, with some countries (mostly those at earlier stages of detection) showing doubling every 2 days.
Risk assessment for the pandemic in the EU/EEA and UK
As of 17 March 2020, there had been 2,740 reported deaths in the EU/EEA and UK from COVID-19 (25 March number: 10,049).
On 13 March 2020, the following COVID-19 related risks were assessed by the ECDC:
risk of severe disease associated with COVID-19 infection for people in the EU/EEA and UK: general population
risk of severe disease associated with COVID-19 infection for people in the EU/EEA and UK: older adults and individuals with chronic underlying conditions
risk of milder disease, and the consequent impact on social and work-related activity,
risk of the occurrence of sub-national community transmission of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK
risk of occurrence of widespread national community transmission of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK in the coming weeks
risk of healthcare system capacity being exceeded in the EU/EEA and the UK in the coming weeks
risk associated with transmission of COVID-19 in health and social institutions with large vulnerable populations
Under the European Union subsidiarity principle, the European Union does not have the legal powers to impose health management policy or actions, such as quarantine measures or closing schools, on member states.
On 28 February 2020, the EU opened a tender process for the purpose of purchasing COVID-19 related medical equipment. Twenty member states submitted requests for purchases. A second round procedure was opened on 17 March, for the purchase of gloves, goggles, face protectors, surgical masks and clothing. Poland was among the member states that applied for the second round tender procedure. The European Commission claimed that all the purchases were satisfied by offers. Commissioner Thierry Breton described the procedure as illustrating the power of EU coordination. On 19 March, the EU announced the creation of the rescEU strategic stockpile of medical equipment, to be financed at the level of 90% by the Commission, to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi stated that member states should absorb coronavirus losses, rather than the private sector. He compared the impact of coronavirus to World War I.
Nine European countries—Italy, France, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Slovenia and Luxembourg—called for "corona bonds" (a type of eurobond) in order to help their countries to recover from the epidemic, on 25 March. Their letter stated, "The case for such a common instrument is strong, since we are all facing a symmetric external shock." Corona bonds were discussed on 26 March 2020 in a meeting between heads of government of EU member states, but Germany and the Netherlands ruled out issuing such bonds. The summit dragged out for three hours longer than expected due to the "emotional" reactions of the prime ministers of Spain and Italy.European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde, who plans (separately) to issue more than 1 trillion euros in bonds in response to coronavirus, urged the EU to consider issuing corona bonds.
Cumulative number of deaths per million inhabitants for a selection of European countries, over time. The legend is sorted in descending order of these values. Logarithmic vertical axis. Data source: ECDC.
Summary table of confirmed cases in Europe (as of 1 April 2020)
On 28 February Belarus confirmed its first case. A student from Iran tested positive on 27 February and was admitted to hospital in Minsk. The individual arrived in Belarus via a flight from Baku, Azerbaijan, on 22 February.
As of 4 March 6 cases in total were confirmed. Four cases in Minsk, two cases in Vitebsk.
On 4 February, Belgium confirmed the first case. The patient, an asymptomatic 54-year-old male was one of nine Belgians repatriated from China. All of them were quarantined at Saint-Pierre Hospital in Brussels.
As of 14 March 689 cases were confirmed in Belgium with 4 deaths.
The first case was confirmed in Banja Luka on 5 March 2020, who had been in Italy during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Later the same day, a second case was confirmed who was the son of the first case. On 21 March, the first death in the country from coronavirus was announced in a hospital in Bihać. The patient was an elderly woman who had been hospitalized two days before.
On 8 March, Bulgaria confirmed its first two cases, a 27-year-old man from Pleven and a 75-year-old woman from Gabrovo. Neither of the two had traveled to areas with known Coronavirus cases. The man tested positive for the virus after being hospitalized for a respiratory infection, and authorities announced plans to test several people who were in contact with the two individuals. Two other samples in Pleven and Gabrovo were positive on 8 March.Patient zero remains unknown. After the number of patients in the country had reached 23, the Bulgarian Parliament voted unanimously to declare a state of emergency from 13 March until 13 April. A 14-day preventive house quarantine was introduced for citizens who have been in contact with a COVID-19 patient or have returned from an overseas region with high number of cases. For patients tested positive for the virus a 21-day house quarantine was introduced. This time span is counted from the day a subsequent test comes out negative after they have been treated in a hospital or at home. After the WHO has established that COVID-19 is more resilient than the initial data was showing, the National Crisis-management Staff increased the recovery house quarantine by a week to 28 days. Another death case was confirmed by Bulgarian Ministry of Health on 14 March. Late in the evening on 31 March a Member of Parliament was tested positive for the virus. All MPs were urgently tested on the following day. If some of them are also tested positive, the Parliament will be adjourned. Options for the MPs to continue their legislative work (including voting) online from home under isolation are being explored. With the increase of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis the Bulgarian government has requested on 1 April that the Parliament prolong the state of emergency by a month until 13 May.
On 25 February, Croatia confirmed its first case, a 26-year-old man who had been in Milan, Italy. On 26 February, two new cases were confirmed, one being the twin brother of the first. In March 2020, a cluster of cases were reported in numerous Croatian cities. On 12 March, the first recovery was reported, and on 18 March the first death from the virus was confirmed. On 19 March, the number of recorded cases surpassed 100. On 21 March, it surpassed 200. On 25 March, it surpassed 400. On 31 March, it surpassed 800. The pandemic in Croatia occurred during the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The first case was reported in the country on 1 March. As of 22 March, there have been 1120 confirmed cases with 1 lethal outcome.
On 12 March, the Czech Republic declared a 30-day state of emergency and barred entry to non-residents from China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, UK, Norway, Denmark and France.
The Czech Republic banned going out in public without wearing a face mask or covering one's nose and mouth.
On 27 February, Denmark confirmed its first case.
As of 16 March, there have been 898 confirmed cases in Denmark, including 11 in the Faroe Islands (see below).
Numerous preventive measures gradually were implemented. Starting on 13 March, schools, universities and similar places were closed, while most people in non-essential functions have been sent home to work. On 14 March, the borders were closed for all entries, except Danish citizens, people with a residence permit, people with an important reason for visiting, and transport of goods.
On 27 February Estonia confirmed its first case, an Iranian citizen, travelling from Iran via Turkey.
As of 11 March there were 17 confirmed cases in Estonia. 12 of them had returned with the infection from Northern Italy, one from France, one from Iran and one from undisclosed risk area. First two cases of virus transmitting locally were in Saaremaa after international volleyball competition involving a team from Milan.
From 12 March the virus was spreading locally. The number of infected grew fast reaching 109 on 14 March.
On 24 January, the first case in Europe was confirmed in Bordeaux. Two more cases were confirmed in Paris by the end of the day, all of them originated from China. A cluster of infections was discovered in Haute-Savoie which originated from a British national who had visited Singapore.
According to regional council president Jean Rottner, the starting point for the first intense wave in Alsace was the Fasting Meeting of the Protestant Free Church of La Porte Ouverte in Mulhouse, with more than 2500 visitors, in mid-February.
On 12 March, French president Emmanuel Macron announced on public television that all schools and all universities would close from Monday 16 March until further notice. The next day, the prime minister Édouard Philippe banned gatherings of more than 100 people, not including public transportation. The following day, the prime minister ordered the closure of all nonessential public places, including restaurants, cafés, cinemas, and discothèques, effective at midnight.
As of 14 March, there had been 4,499 confirmed cases (a near-four-fold increase over the number 5 days previously), and 91 deaths in France.
As of 20 March, the number of confirmed cases had risen to 12,612, while the number of deaths reached 450.
As of March 30, more than six hundred doctors and other medical workers are suing the former Minister of Health and the Prime Minister for "culpable negligence" in failing to prepare for the epidemic.
The daily update of the number of deaths in France includes only deaths in hospitals, deaths in nursing houses or at home are not included in the update. Therefore, it is difficult to know for sure the actual number of deaths due to the virus.
On 27 January, the first case was confirmed in Germany. The majority of cases in January and early February originated from Webasto headquarters in Bavaria. A total of 14 employees and family members tested positive and were treated at Schwabing Hospital in Munich.
By 14 March, the number of confirmed infections had increased to 4,585, including 9 fatalities.
On 26 February, the first case in Greece was confirmed, a 38-year-old woman from Thessaloniki who had recently visited Northern Italy. The next day, the first patient's 9-year-old child and another 40-year-old woman, who had travelled to Italy, also tested positive. Subsequent cases is Greece were mainly related to people who had travelled to Italy and a group of pilgrims who had travelled to Israel and Egypt, as well as their contacts. Health and state authorities issued precautionary guidelines and recommendations, while measures up to that point were taken locally and included the closure of schools and the suspension of cultural events in the affected areas (particularly Ilia, Achaea and Zakynthos). The first confirmed death from COVID-19 in Greece was a 66-year-old man, who died on 12 March.
By 30 March, there were 1212 confirmed cases in Greece, 43 deaths and 53 recoveries. The Greek National Public Health Organization (NPHO), in collaboration with local authorities and doctors, is tracking and testing everyone who came in close contact with the patients. By March 10 the government decided to suspend the operation of educational institutions of all levels nationwide and then, on 13 March, to close down all cafes, bars, museums, shopping centres, sports facilities and restaurants in the country. On 16 March, all retail shops were also closed and all services in all areas of religious worship of any religion or dogma were suspended. On 18 and 19 March, the government announced a series of measures of more than 10 billion euros to support the economy, businesses and employees. On 22 March the Greek authorities announced significant restrictions on all nonessential transport and movement across the country, starting from 6 a.m. on 23 March.
On 4 March Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that two Iranian students had been infected with the virus. The students are asymptomatic and have been transported to Saint Ladislaus Hospital in Budapest.
The first case was confirmed in Iceland on 28 February, an Icelandic male in his forties who had been on a ski trip to Andalo in Northern Italy and returned home on 22 February.
Iceland's Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management declared a state of emergency on 6 March after two cases of community transmission in Iceland were confirmed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 43. On 13 March, it was announced at an official press conference that a four-week ban on public gatherings of more than 100 persons would be put into effect as of Monday 16 March. Universities and secondary schools will be closed for four weeks. International airports and harbours will remain exempt from these measures.
The National Public Health Emergency Team of Ireland announced that a case in Ireland has been confirmed on 29 February. Response to the outbreak has included cancellation of St Patrick's Day parades and all festivals. On 12 March, all schools, universities and childcare institutes were closed until 29 March. On 20 March emergency legislation was signed into law by Michael D. Higgins giving the state permission to detain people, restrict travel and keep people in their homes to help combat the spread of the pandemic.
As of 28 March, there have been 2,415 confirmed cases and 36 deaths.
On 6 February, one of the Italians repatriated from Wuhan, China tested positive, bringing the total number of cases in Italy to three. On 22 February, the repatriated Italian recovered and was discharged from the hospital. On 22 and 26 February, the two Chinese tourists hospitalized in Rome tested negative.
On 21 February, a cluster of cases was detected starting with 16 confirmed cases in Lombardy, with additional 60 cases on 22 February, and Italy's first deaths reported on the same day. As of late February, Italy was hit harder than anywhere else in the EU by the COVID-19 outbreak.
As of 17 March 2020, there have been 2,503 deaths and 31,506 confirmed cases.
8 March: In the early hours of Sunday, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree enacting forced quarantine for the region of Lombardy – home to more than 10 million people and the financial capital, Milan – and multiple other provinces, totalling around 16 million residents. The lockdown decree included the power to impose fines on anyone caught entering or leaving Lombardy, the worst-affected region, until 3 April.
On 9 March in the evening, the lockdown orders were extended to the whole of Italy, effectively quarantining more than 60 million people.
The first two cases were reported in the country on 13 March. In the ten-day period March 13–23, the number of positive cases with coronavirus rose to 35. In midnight of 23 March, 26 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to 61. On March 25, the government collapsed with a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Albin Kurti after the Prime Minister refused to call a state of emergency to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
The first case was reported in the country on 28 February. By March 17 there were 21 cases, mostly in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda. The first infected Lithuanian recovered on 14 March.
On 7 March, Malta reported its first 3 cases of coronavirus: an Italian family consisting of a 12-year-old girl and her parents, who arrived in Malta on 3 March from Rome after a holiday in Trentino.
The first two cases were reported in the country on 17 March 2020. Montenegro was the last European country to report at least one case. In one week (24 March), 51 cases were reported and after two weeks there was totally 120 cases (31 March). Indexed cases count 18% out of reported, 72% cases were infected due to contact with primary cases, while the origin of infection of the rest 10% cases are not certain.  The Government of Montenegro estimates that the country need EUR 59.2 million private and international relief to address health, social and economical issues of CoVID-19.
On 9 March, RIVM announced 56 more confirmed cases in addition to the total of the 77 infected patients declared in the previous day, bringing the total to 321 infected and 3 dead.
On 15 March, the Dutch government announced in a press conference that all schools, day care facilities, colleges, universities, and universities of applied sciences would close until 6 April. Though children of parents in vital industries could still go to school or the day care if they could not be taken care of otherwise.
As of 16 March, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had risen to 1,413. The total number of confirmed deaths had risen to 24. This was an increase of 278 infections and 4 deaths in comparison to 15 March.
On the same date, the Minister President, Mark Rutte, of the Netherlands had announced that the country would not go into complete lockdown. Instead the situation would be controlled as much as possible by delaying the spread of the virus, relying on measures taken earlier by the government, such as social distancing and prohibiting gatherings of 100 people and over. It is expected the coronavirus will keep spreading and a large part of the population will become infected. Instead of opting to lockdown the Netherlands for the time required, which would have a lot of (negative) consequences while the benefits remain uncertain and would have to stay in place, it will be attempted to build herd immunity in a controlled manner. Depending on how the virus behaves, the government will decide if additional measures are required.
Further measures were introduced on 23 March. All events will be banned until 1 June. Gatherings of more than three people, except for families, are prohibited. City mayors received greater authorisation to enforce the rules. Fines will be issued to those not complying with the new rules.
Separation of an area near the driver, bus in Trondheim, 15 March
On 26 February, Norway confirmed its first case, in a person who had returned from China the previous week.
On 7 March, there were 147 confirmed cases in Norway. Most of the cases could either be linked to outbreaks abroad or close encounters with these. Altogether 89 have been infected on travel in Italy.
On 12 March 2020, all kindergartens, schools, colleges and universities were closed until at least 26 March 2020.
The first coronavirus infection in Poland, a man hospitalized in Zielona Góra, was confirmed on 4 March. On 6 March another 4 infections were confirmed in Szczecin, Wrocław and Ostróda. As of 2 April, there were 2,946confirmed cases, 35 recovered and 57 deaths in Poland. As part of the prevention, all schools in Poland were closed, initially from 12 March to at least 10 April 2020.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits coronavirus patients at Moscow hospital on 24 March
Russia implemented preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country by imposing quarantines, carrying raids on potential virus carriers and using facial recognition to impose quarantine measures.
On 27 February, San Marino confirmed its first case, an 88-year-old man with pre-existing medical conditions, who came from Italy. He was hospitalised at a hospital in Rimini, Italy. As of 25 March 2020: With 208 confirmed cases out of a population of 33,344 (as of 2018), it is the country with the highest percentage of confirmed cases per capita at 0.62% – 1 confirmed case per 161 inhabitants. Also, with 21 confirmed deaths, the country has the highest rate of confirmed deaths per capita at 0.063% of the total population – 1 death per 1,588 inhabitants.
Disinfection of housing in Serbia during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic
On 29 February, a massive infection occurred in the town of Valjevo after a private party involving a guest from Austria who had previously stayed in Italy. On 6 March, the first case was confirmed in Serbia by Minister of Health Zlatibor Lončar, of a man who had traveled to Budapest. President Aleksandar Vucic and the Government of the Republic of Serbia introduced a state of emergency on March 15. Two days later, curfew and quarantine were introduced as safeguards against massive infection.
On 6 March Slovakia confirmed its first case, a 52-year-old man coming from a small town nearby Bratislava. He had not travelled anywhere in recent weeks but his son had visited Venice. His son didn't show any symptoms. On 7 March, the virus was also confirmed in his wife and son.
On Saturday 14 March, the Spanish government imposed a nationwide quarantine, banned all trips that are not necessary and announced that companies may be intervened to guarantee supplies. However, with universities and schools closed earlier that week, bars and parks were full, and due to slow enactment "part of the population of Madrid and other cities had dispersed across the country". As of 17 March 2020, there had been 11,826 confirmed cases with 1,028 recoveries and 533 deaths in Spain.
On 28 March, the Spanish government tightened up its national lockdown, ordering all non-essential workers to stay at home for the next two weeks.
As of 11 March, first fatality. An elderly man in Stockholm over 60 who had other illnesses prior to infection.
As of 12 March, National testing strategy shifted to only elderly, severely ill, and healthcare personnel. The official recommendation is as of 13 March to stay at home for symptoms that are not serious and not visit healthcare. This makes statistics becoming less useful
On 25 February, following the outbreak in Italy, Switzerland confirmed its first case, a 70-year-old man in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, who had previously visited Milan. Afterwards, multiple cases related to the Italy clusters were discovered in multiple cantons including Basel-City, Zürich and Graubünden. Multiple isolated cases not related to the Italian clusters were also confirmed.
On 28 February, the Federal Council announced an immediate ban on all events with more than 1,000 participants.
As of 10 March, there were 500 confirmed cases in Switzerland.
On 16 March 2020, the Federal Council announced further measures, and a revised ordinance. Measures include the closure of bars, shops and other gathering places until 19 April, but leaves open certain essentials, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, (a reduced) public transport and the postal service.
On 31 January, England confirmed the first two cases, both members of a family of Chinese nationals staying in a hotel in York who were taken to specialist facilities in Newcastle upon Tyne. Afterwards, several confirmed cases were detected across the UK.
The UK government implemented preventive measures to curb the spread of infections which included contact tracing, isolation and testing, some of which were related to the Italy clusters. The NHS set up drive-through screening centres at several hospitals to test members of the public showing symptoms. This effort was later replaced with screening focused on diagnosing patients in secondary care.
On 2 March, Ministers approved the Department of Health and Social Care coronavirus action plan, which sets out actions to date, future measures, cooperation between devolved political and health authorities, and the level of preparedness of the country's four National Health Services. It outlined the government's objectives to deploy phased actions to Contain, Delay, and Mitigate any outbreak, using Research to inform policy development.
On 25 March, the UK Parliament legislated to provide the government and authorities with emergency powers to handle the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, such as the power to restrict public gatherings, order businesses to close, and the ability to detain those suspected of having the virus. The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 25 March and came into force on the same day.
As of 30 March, there were 22,141 confirmed cases and 1,408 deaths in the United Kingdom.
^Laboratory-confirmed cases, including those without disease symptoms.
^Dates from national medical sources directly or via media if available; ECDC graphs assign dates typically 24 hours later than these.
^ abBy default, difference between daily ECDC estimates; with corrections if sources require that.
Total confirmed cases since Day 1 of Outbreak
Syncing the start date, comparing the Daily growth
Syncing the start date till first 500 cases:
Syncing the start date till first 100 cases:
Criticism of response to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic
Although by 7 March some European politicians such as France's Marine Le Pen had called for Europe's internal borders to be temporarily closed, the European Union by 13 March continued to reject the idea of suspending the Schengen free travel area and introducing border controls with Italy. The deputy leader of the Swiss Ticino League, Lorenzo Quadri, by 29 February had criticised the decision: "It is alarming that the dogma of wide-open borders is considered a priority." United States President Donald Trump said by 12 March the European Union had "failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots" as the US had implemented.
By 9 March Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stated that "European countries cannot ban the entry of Italian citizens within the Schengen area. The only possible way is to have the Italian prime minister call on his fellow citizens to refrain from traveling to other countries of the European Union."
After Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Denmark announced complete closure of their national borders, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said by 12 March that "Certain controls may be justified, but general travel bans are not seen as being the most effective by the World Health Organization. Moreover, they have a strong social and economic impact, they disrupt people’s lives and business across the borders." European Union leaders condemned the US decision to restrict travel from Europe to the United States. European Council President Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen said in a joint statement: "The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation." Ursula von der Leyen admitted by 17 March that "all of us who are not experts initially underestimated the coronavirus."
The Italian government has criticised EU's lack of solidarity with Italy.Politico reported on 7 March that "EU countries have so far refused Italy's plea for help fighting coronavirus, as national capitals worry that they may need to stockpile face masks and other medical gear to help their own citizens, officials and diplomats said." Maurizio Massari, Italy's ambassador to the EU, said that "Only China responded bilaterally. Certainly, this is not a good sign of European solidarity."Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said that "European solidarity does not exist. That was a fairy tale."
The planned NATO “Defender 2020” military exercise in Germany, Poland, and the Baltic states, the largest NATO war manoeuvres since the end of the Cold War, were to be held on a reduced scale because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's general secretary Kate Hudson critisiced the Defender 2020 exercise: "In the current public-health crisis, it jeopardises the lives not only of the troops from the US and the many European countries participating but the inhabitants of the countries in which they are operating."
^ abPańkowska, Maria (26 March 2020). "Szumowski krytykuje UE: 'Nie ma tej europejskiej solidarności'. To wielopiętrowy fałsz" [Szumowski criticise the EU: 'There is no European solidarity'. Which is false at many levels]. OKO.press (in Polish). Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020. Bo jak byśmy czekali na inne kraje, na Europę, na świat, to byśmy się obudzili bez środków, a dookoła wszyscy by te środki sobie zakupili ... Żeby była jasność, to nie jest tak, że my ten sprzęt mamy w Europie, że są jego nieograniczone ilości. ... Bo niestety tutaj centralne zakupy zawiodły, nie ma tej europejskiej solidarności.
^Portal Senat.me (18 March 2020). "CoVID19 case confirmed in Montenegro". Podgorica, Montenegro. Retrieved 1 April 2020. PM Marković: First two cases of coronavirus CoVID19 confirmed in Montenegro, we successfully resisted for three months, new phase of challenge begins and we remain one team
^"Covid-19 – coronavirus" [When and where should I seek care? The vast majority of people who become ill do not need to seek care because the problems usually go away by themselves.]. 1177 Vårdguiden. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020. När och var ska jag söka vård? De allra flesta som blir sjuka behöver inte söka vård eftersom besvären brukar gå över av sig själv.