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


VIENNA, Nov. 19 (Reuters) – Some Austrian media reported on Friday that a full COVID-19 lockdown would be introduced nationwide from Monday, ahead of a government announcement scheduled for later today to find out if he would take that step amid record infection levels.

About 66% of the Austrian 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 are setting records.

Austria’s two worst-hit provinces, Salzburg and Upper Austria, have already announced they will introduce their own closures on Monday and are urging the national government to do the same nationwide.

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The governors of Austria’s nine provinces are meeting with Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg and Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein on Friday and are expected to announce whether a national lockdown will be imposed at a press conference at 12:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. GMT).

Austria introduced a lockdown for the unvaccinated on Monday, but infections continued to rise well above the previous peak a year ago, when the country entered a nationwide lockdown.

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

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Report by François Murphy Editing by Mark Potter

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