Hundreds of thousands of new infections took the known global caseload past 44.5 million with nearly 1.2 million deaths, as the disease continues its deadly spread worldwide.
Following significantly relaxed summer seasons, France and Germany are now taking bold steps to shut down social life in the face of spiking infections across the continent.
Starting Friday, France will bar people from leaving their homes without authorisation, recalling the drastic stay-at-home measures seen around the world in early spring.
Bars and restaurants will also be closed until at least December and travel between regions will be limited, President Emmanuel Macron said in a televised address Wednesday.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has ordered a lighter round of shutdowns from 2 November until the end of the month.
Germans will not be confined to their homes but bars, cafés and restaurants must close, as well as theatres, operas and cinemas.
Other European states are also tightening the screws on normal life, with Ireland locking down last week while Spain and Italy have imposed various curfews and travel restrictions.
Sweden sets another daily Covid-19 case record as hospitals feel strain