Coronavirus: Austria bans all gatherings of more than five people

People allowed out of homes only for work, food shopping and helping others

Jane Dalton
Sunday 15 March 2020 13:10 GMT
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Austria closes towns and valleys to curb virus spread

The Austrian government is limiting people’s movement nationwide.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Sunday that there should be only three reasons for people to leave home: essential work, essential purchases such as food, and helping other people.

People will be able to go out “only alone or with the people with whom [they] live in their apartment”.

Mr Kurz’s comments came shortly after the governor of Tyrol province had announced a lockdown for his Alpine region.

Tyrol, an Alpine region popular with skiers, borders northern Italy and is one of the worst-hit areas of Austria, which already has largely shut down public life.

Austria, a country of 8m people, has confirmed 800 coronavirus infections and one death.

More and more countries are taking border measures and restricting movement to try to prevent the spread of the virus.

Norway, which has already closed schools, is set to close its airports and harbours. Slovenia’s government has announced the closure of all public transport.

Italy’s transport minister has signed a decree banning passengers from taking ferries to Sardinia, a large Mediterranean island.

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