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Austria: Vienna and eastern states extend coronavirus lockdown

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Austria: Vienna and eastern states extend coronavirus lockdown
A woman with a walking frame passes by a closed shop on January 20, 2021 in Berlin amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Germany extended and toughened a partial lockdown to February 14, 2021 in a bid to halt coronavirus transmission and prevent virus variants believed to be more contagious from propagating in the country. (Photo by Tobias Schwarz / AFP)

Austrian officials decided on Tuesday in Vienna to extend the coronavirus lockdown in the country's east by a week.

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Austrian officials decided on Tuesday afternoon to extend the lockdown in the eastern states of Vienna, Burgenland and Lower Austria.

The lockdown will be extended from the 11th until the 18th of April.

On April 12th, the lockdown in Vienna and Lower Austria was again extended until May 2nd, while it expires on 18th April in Burgenland. 

Initially put in place in the eastern states for less than a week on April 1st to cover the Easter period, the lockdown was first extended until the 11th of April. 

In early April, it emerged that Vienna had decided to extend the lockdown by a week. Both Burgenland and Lower Austria later decided to follow in a show of solidarity

The lockdown includes schools, meaning that distance learning will continue until at least April 25th in Vienna and Lower Austria, but schools will go back to face-to-face lessons on April 19th in Burgenland. 

READ MORE: What are the latest coronavirus measures in schools and kindergartens in Austria?

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Why has the lockdown been extended?

Officials in the eastern states are concerned about rising infection rates fuelled by the prevalence of the British mutation of the virus, which is estimated to represent more than 80 percent of the new coronavirus infections in the region. 

Coronavirus: ICUs at record capacity in Vienna and eastern Austria

The principal concern of authorities in eastern Austria is the amount of people who are being hospitalised due to the virus, both in general admissions and in intensive care. 

ICU admissions in both Vienna and Lower Austria are currently at their highest point since the start of the pandemic, Austrian media reported on Tuesday

Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig said on Tuesday that the lockdown was likely to be extended further unless ICU numbers fell in the east of the country

Ludwig however declined to set out an exact metric from which the lockdown could be relaxed, saying it was important to take all data into account. 

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Anonymous 2021/04/07 07:12
Why not consider getting the vaccine in people's arms instead of this constant lockdown, which simply doesn't work? This is among the most backward approaches to the pandemic I have ever seen...similar to the US under Trump...backwards and confused. Just get every Apothotek to be able to administer the vaccine...how can the US be SO far ahead??? Get this done!

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