Austria imposes major restrictions on movement over coronavirus

ZURICH (Reuters) – Austria introduced major restrictions on movement in public places on Sunday, urging Austrians to self-isolate, banning gatherings of more than five persons and putting further limits on who can enter the country.

The restrictions on public movement would come into force on Monday, while restaurants were ordered closed from Tuesday, when new entry restrictions would also take effect, a government spokesman said.

“Austrians are being summoned to isolate themselves,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s office said in a statement. “That means only making social contact with the people with whom they live.”

People should only leave the house for work that could not be postponed, to buy necessary food supplies and to help others, it said.

Gatherings over five people would only be allowed for activities serving to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Austria expanded its list of countries from which it restricts entry by adding Britain, the Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine. It said people from the list could only enter if they undertook two weeks of home quarantine or had a current health certificate.

Austria has already closed its borders to most arrivals from neighboring Switzerland and Italy because of the coronavirus outbreaks there and previously announced other measures, such as shutting schools and most shops other than those selling food and medicine from Monday.

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