Austria is about to switch from mild anti-coronavirus restrictions to a full three-week lockdown, local media reported citing a draft government decree. The country has seen a recent sharp increase in new daily cases of the virus.

The lockdown is expected to take effect next Tuesday and last until December 6. Currently, the country has a nighttime curfew in place, which will be replaced with an all-day lockdown. All “non-essential” retailers will be ordered to close under new restrictions.

The restrictions will also affect elementary schools that currently remain open throughout the country. Secondary schools have already switched to distance teaching and now the facilities for younger students will be obliged to do so as well.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is expected to provide further details on the upcoming restrictions during a press conference later in the day.

The country has recently seen a sharp increase in coronavirus cases. The latest record was set on Friday, when more than 9,500 new Covid-19 patients were registered. This figure is nine times higher than the peak endured by Austria during the first wave of the pandemic.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Austria has registered over 191,000 coronavirus cases, with more than 1,600 deaths. While such numbers are dwarfed by statistics from the worst-hit nations, including such EU countries as France and Germany, the tally is still quite sizeable for the nation of 8.8 million people.

Globally, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen well past the 53 million mark, while over 1.3 million have succumbed to the disease, and more than 34 million have now recovered, according to the latest statistics by the Johns Hopkins University.

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