Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Health

Austrian media report full COVID-19 lockdown coming as decision looms

VIENNA (Reuters) – Some Austrian media reported on Friday that a full COVID-19 lockdown would be introduced nationally as of Monday, ahead of a government announcement due later in the day on whether it would take that step amid record infection levels.

Roughly 66% of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in western Europe. Its infections are among the highest on the continent, with a seven-day incidence of 971.5 per 100,000 people, and daily cases keep setting records.

Austria’s two worst-hit provinces, Salzburg and Upper Austria, have already said they will introduce their own lockdowns on Monday and are pressing the national government to do the same nationally.

The governors of Austria’s nine provinces are meeting Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg and Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein on Friday and due to announce whether a national lockdown will be imposed at a news conference at 12:30 p.m. (1130 GMT).

Austria introduced a lockdown for the unvaccinated on Monday but infections have continued to rise far above the previous peak a year ago, when the country went into a national lockdown.

Several newspapers including the Kleine Zeitung and influential tabloid Kronen Zeitung said officials agreed overnight that a lockdown would be imposed as of Monday, initially for 10 days.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Mark Potter)

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