SURGING CORONA CASES LEAD AUSTRIA BEGIN NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN

To combat soaring coronavirus infections, Austria went into a nationwide lockdown early Monday, November 22, 2021. The measures are expected to last for a maximum of 20 days but will be reevaluated after 10. They require people to stay home apart from basic reasons like getting groceries, going to the doctor and exercising. Restaurants and most shops must close and larger events will be canceled. Schools and day care centers can remain open, but parents are encouraged to keep their children home. Austria hopes to lift the measures on Dec. 13 but may keep a further lockdown on the unvaccinated.

The new lockdown measures kicked in a day after many Austrians hurriedly enjoyed a last day out at coffeehouses and Christmas markets across the country.

Christmas markets across central Vienna were packed Sunday with people eager to buy gifts and enjoy one last round of warm drinks and food

On Saturday, Austria reported 15,297 new infections, after a week in which daily cases topped 10,000. Hospitals, especially those in the hardest hit regions of Salzburg and Upper Austria, are overwhelmed as the number of coronavirus patients rises in intensive care units.

Mr. Schallenberg said he and other officials had hoped this summer that a new lockdown would not be necessary and it was a tough decision to impose one that affected vaccinated people

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