Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Monday morning that a maximum of six people will be allowed for private indoor gatherings starting from Friday midnight to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 12 adults, Kurz said at a press conference, adding “That applies everywhere. It affects the restaurant as well as the yoga class.”
The only exceptions to the new rule will be professional events, such as Bundesliga (Austria’s professional football league) games or the operas, where only 1,500 visitors will be admitted outdoors, and 1,000 people indoors, with mask-wearing mandatory during the whole event, according to Kurz.
He described the current pandemic situation as “very serious,” warning that if the trend continues, “we will have up to 6,000 new infections per day in December.”
The next few months would be a “show of strength” for the Austrians, said the chancellor. “The better we stick together, the better everyone participates, the better we will get through the situation.”
Over the past 24 hours, 1,121 new infections have been registered, said Health Minister Rudolf Anschober at the press conference, noting that the 7 percent rate of positive tests is an indicator of a high number of unreported cases.
The number of confirmed cases climbed to 65,927 on Monday in the Alpine country with a population of nearly 9 million.
Among the confirmed cases, 904 people died, 799 patients are hospitalized, with 145 of them needing intensive care.
As of Oct. 15, a total of 42 candidate vaccines were in clinical evaluation worldwide, including several from China, the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, Belgium and Germany entering Phase 3 trial. Another 156 candidate vaccines were in preclinical evaluation, according to the World Health Organization.