Austria and Portugal announce fresh restrictions to curb virus

As coronavirus infections continue to keep rising in Europe, many nations have once again imposed restrictions.

On Saturday, Austria and Portugal announced new restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of virus.


In Austria, the restrictions include a curfew from 8pm to 6am Cafes and restaurants will be takeaway only.

On Friday, Austria recorded a record 5,627 infections, just short of the 6,000 level that the government claims will stretch hospitals beyond capacity. Figures were slightly lower on Saturday with 5,349 infections.

“We did not take this decision lightly but it is necessary,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a news conference

Factories, shops, kindergartens and primary schools will remain open, however, while secondary schools and universities will switch to distance learning. Exercise or walks will still be allowed during curfew.


Checkpoints have been set up across Portugal to stop unauthorised travel during a five-day movement ban which began on Friday.

In Portugal, restrictions will affect 70 percent of the population. People will be required to stay at home except for work, school or essential errands.

Portugal, with just over 10 million people, has recorded a comparatively low 137,272 cases and 2,468 deaths but it reached 4,656 cases on Friday, the highest daily figure since the pandemic started. Testing has also increased.

The health system, which prior to the pandemic had the lowest number of critical care beds per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe, can accommodate 800 COVID-19 patients in ICUs.

Elsewhere in Europe:

A number of European countries have enforced new measures as the continent grapples with a second wave.

France introduced measures on Friday and on Saturday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-week lockdown for England.

Slovakia has announced it is testing everyone over the age of 10 to try and stop the spread of the disease there. The project to test four million people in the country.

Deaths from Covid-19 in Hungary rose by 51, bringing the total to 1,750, the government said on Saturday. It also said the number of Covid patients in hospital had exceeded 4,000 for the first time.

Greece has announced a partial lockdown, with restaurants and other leisure activities closed in major Greek cities from Tuesday. Greece has not seen as many cases as other parts of Europe, but there has been a steady increase since early October.

Belgium has announced a return to a national lockdown from Monday, as latest coronavirus figures show it has the highest infection rate in Europe.