Austrian Lockdown Dampens Holiday Mood To Contain Virus

A woman pushes a baby stroller in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. Austria went into a nationwide lockdown early Monday to combat soaring coronavirus infections, a step being closely watched by other European governments struggling with national outbreaks that are straining health care systems.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

(AP) — Austrians savored one last mulled wine in packed Christmas markets before the curtain came down on the holiday season that was just getting underway, plunging the country that gave the world “Silent Night” into its fourth lockdown of this pandemic on Monday.

The capital, Vienna, awoke groggily to the new restrictions, with people heading to work, to bring children to school or to exercise outdoors, more or less as usual.

Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein said the lockdown was necessary not only to bring down the number of new daily infections and reduce pressure on intensive care wards, but most of all to bring relief to doctors and nurses “who cannot take it anymore.”


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