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Tuesday, 01 December 2020

Austria brings in second virus shutdown, curfew

Friday saw a new record of 5,627 infections within 24 hours, while Saturday's figure was barely any lower at 5,439.

AFP , Saturday 31 Oct 2020
Austria Cruz
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz wears a face mask as he arrives behind plexiglass shields for a press conference at the federal chancellery in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. AP.
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Austria's government announced Saturday a second mass shutdown and a curfew starting next week until the end of November, in an attempt to halt rocketing coronavirus infection numbers.

"From midnight on Tuesday until the end of November there will be a second lockdown," Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a press conference.

A curfew between 8pm and 6am will also come into force.

"All events will not be possible. This will affect the sports, cultural and leisure sectors. Hotels will have to close with the exception of work travel and we must also close restaurants and cafes, with the exception of delivery and takeaway services," Kurz said.

However, unlike the first lockdown in the spring, shops will remain open.

In recent weeks the number of positive test results has surged in Austria, far exceeding the levels recorded in the springtime first wave of the pandemic.

Friday saw a new record of 5,627 infections within 24 hours, while Saturday's figure was barely any lower at 5,439.

At the beginning of October the rate of new infections per day was just over 1,000.

The number of those admitted to hospital after contracting the virus has also been rising, with 64 more admissions recorded on Saturday bringing the total currently receiving hospital treatment to 1,867.

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