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Austria likely to close schools in bid to contain COVID-19 spread

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Austria will likely close schools and tighten contact restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, news website OE24 reported on Friday.

The government is due to hold a news conference to present the new measures on Saturday, it added.

It also said the retail sector would largely remain open, except for shopping centres where large crowds could gather.

Austria’s daily tally of new coronavirus infections surpassed 9,000 for the first time on Thursday, with the government coming under growing pressure to introduce tougher measures to bring the outbreak under control.

Earlier this month Austria introduced a partial shutdown until the end of November to slow the spread of the virus. Restaurants, cafes and bars have closed to all but takeaway service while theatres and museums have shut. A nighttime curfew is in place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Still, infections keep rising.

Austria’s new daily COVID-19 infections reached a record high of 9,586 on Friday, newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported on its website.

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