The UK's rise of 21,300 cases in the last week - more than double the figure of 8,700 two weeks ago - has sparked fears that Britain is following in the footsteps of France and Spain which have both seen alarming spikes in virus cases.
But despite warnings from the WHO that Europe's death toll is likely to mount in the autumn, experts hope that the second peak will be less deadly because patients are typically younger and doctors are better prepared for the disease.
In Sweden, the death rate has been falling steadily since April despite a peak of cases in the summer - with the country's top epidemiologist saying that deaths can be kept low without drastic lockdown measures.
France recorded its highest-ever spike in cases with more than 10,000 on Saturday, but deaths are nowhere near the mid-April peak and the country's PM says it must 'succeed in living with this virus' without going back into lockdown.
In the United States, cases surged to record levels in July and August after the first wave had receded - but death rates in summer hotspots such as Texas and Florida were well below those in New York City where the virus hit hardest in the spring
Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, told the Daily Telegraph that the autumn and winter are 'unlikely to be as bad as the spring' in Britain.
'Covid will probably spread less fast in the elderly than the first time round. I don't think we will see as many deaths this winter as in spring,' he said, suggesting that a smaller second peak in deaths would become the norm.
After cases slowed in May and June, they reached a fearsome new peak in the summer, with up to 67,000 cases per day compared to 32,000 in the spring.
However, the rise in deaths was more muted. The average daily death toll during the summer was never higher than 1,100 per day and is now below 800 again.
While New York City has seen 282 deaths per 100,000 people as a result of the disastrous April death toll, the equivalent figure is only 59 in Florida and 49 in Texas which were both hit hard by the second wave.
I'm going to write about the New York death toll- Let's call it an update to a previous report
Last week, French prime minister Jean Castex singled out Marseille and Bordeaux as among the cities hardest hit by the resurgence.
However, he did not announce any major new restrictions, shortening the quarantine period for people who catch the virus to just seven days from 14.
'We have to succeed in living with this virus, without returning to the idea of a generalised lockdown,' he said in a televised address.
Germany too has seen cases rise from fewer than 400 per day in mid-June to more than 1,300 per day at the moment, but deaths are as low as ever with only 23 recorded in the last week.
Germany, France and Spain have severe mask mandates. As does the UK. And they have more cases of Covid... (yes IMO it's mask related) The problem with the PCR testing also sheds light on why there are so many Covid cases 'detected'