One country has been put under one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe as Covid cases surge, prompting authorities to issue a stern warning.
Covid cases in Austria have surpassed 200,000 and the country has been subjected to lockdown since the start of November, however the government has announced measures to further tighten restrictions.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told the public to not meet with anyone, as he announced new restrictions beginning on Tuesday.
“My pressing demand for the coming weeks is as follows: Don't meet anyone. Every social contact is one too many,” Mr Kurz said according to Austria’s edition of The Local.
“There are still many who say that infections don't happen at school, in shops or services. But the truth is the authorities can no longer trace 77 per cent of new infections, which means they no longer know where contamination is happening.”
Austria had been under a night curfew since November 3, but now moves to an ‘around the clock’ curfew until December 6.
Non-essential shops have been forced to close, and people are only allowed to leave their homes to get groceries, go to the pharmacy, seek medical treatment or go to church.
The Local also reports people are required to stay at home 24 hours a day, though people are permitted to leave their home “for mental and physical relaxation”.
From November 17 until 4 December, schools have been required to close and switch to remote learning, making it a harsher lockdown than other European countries like France.
Austria is fast approaching 204,000 infections and over 1800 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Cases surge across Europe
Cases are continuing to surge across Europe, with many countries implementing lockdowns to stop the spread.
In France, there have been 44,000 Covid deaths and more than 1.9 million cases since the start of the pandemic.
On Sunday, France registered 27,228 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a further 302 deaths in 24 hours, although there are signs of a fall in infection rates.
At this stage, France is under lockdown until the start of December.
Italy has over 1.1 million Covid infections and parts of the country have been deemed “coronavirus red zones”.
The director of the National Health Institute, Gianni Rezza, on Friday said the stricter measures were justified by a "worrisome increase in hospitalisations" as Italy's rate of new confirmed cases reached 650 per 100,000 people.
While Spain, another European country which was declared an epicentre early on in the pandemic has over 1.4 million infections.
Boris Johnson told to isolate
UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has been asked to isolate after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Mr Johnson was hospitalised due to Covid-19 earlier this year, though a spokesperson for the PM’s office said he does not currently have any symptoms.
Mr Johnson met with a group of MPs on Thursday including Conservative Party member Lee Anderson who subsequently developed Covid symptoms and has tested positive.
The prime minister also has to decide his next move on England's coronavirus restrictions after ordering a four-week lockdown that is due to end on December 2.
With Reuters and AAP
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