Quarantined France is the latest European country to pay tribute to its medical and frontline heroes with a nationwide display of cheers and applause.

Two men look from their balconies in Paris, on March 17, 2020, as a strict lockdown comes into in effec
France is engaging in a nightly tribute for COVID-19 frontline heroes Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

Some of the hardest-hit European countries are coming together to send a message to those assisting on the coronavirus frontline with a collective and timed tribute, coordinated over social media. Moving videos shared online show neighbours clapping and cheering from their individual balconies, and heads poking out of windows in a sweeping show of solidarity. First it was Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Bulgaria, who came together over the weekend to express gratitude, and now France, under lockdown since Monday, is joining in the gesture.

France kicked off its first nightly tribute on Tuesday at 8pm. A video shared online by Twitter user @AgnesCPoirier , filmed from Paris' 13th arrondissement shows the first ripples of applause gain momentum and sweep over the city like a Mexican Wave, with windows glowing and the lights of the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the background.

Read more: Lockdowns and travel bans: which countries have COVID-19 restrictions

Quarantined European countries are also keeping their spirits up through nightly individual balcony and window parties with singing, dancing and music. As Italy faces Europe’s worst outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, many people have also been upping morale by hanging posters from their windows with images of a rainbow and the words andrà tutto bene (everything will be fine) which has become the unofficial national motto through quarantine.

People look out from their window as people clap in support of medical staff in France on 17 March in Paris
People look out from their window as people clap in support of medical staff in France on 17 March in Paris Omar Havana/Getty Images

Italy, France and Spain are currently under lockdown. Citizens can only leave home when necessary, such as when buying food or medicine, assisting those in need, seeking medical help or engaging in outdoor exercise (while maintaining social distancing). Those caught flouting the rules face strict fines. On Tuesday, the EU issued a non-essential travel ban on those travelling from outside the EU, and repatriation arrangements are being made for citizens and residents.

The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is now a global pandemic. Find out what this means for travelers.

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