Austria and Greece are the latest European nations to impose varying versions of lockdowns and restrictions to curb the latest COVID-19 surge.
As unrest continues to grip Europe, which is experiencing pandemic-fatigue, Austria was further rocked by a terrorist attack that has left at least two people dead in Vienna on Monday night, the city’s last night of semi-freedom.
Austria has experienced a surge of COVID cases in recent weeks, passing records set during the first wave last spring. In response, the Government has imposed a curfew between 8pm and 6am, starting today (Tuesday) until the end of November.
Meetings can only take place between people of no more than two households, while curfew exceptions will only be made for care responsibilities and essential work travel. Universities and high schools must switch back to distance-learning, however kindergartens and other schools will remain open.
Hours before the lockdown was due to begin, people in Vienna enjoying a final night of relative-freedom were stunned after gunmen opened fire at multiple locations across the central parts of the city, killing at least two people.
Greece’s second-biggest city, Thessaloniki, will be undergoing a two-week lockdown as from today, with flights suspended and everything closed except schools. The restrictions follow localised lockdowns in the regions of Kozani and Kastoria earlier this month.
The countries join France, Germany and the United Kingdom which have all recently introduced different versions of a lockdown set to come into force this week. Most of Portugal also faces a lockdown to begin from this Wednesday. The COVID-19 crisis has deepened across Europe in recent weeks.
It would appear that most European countries have introduced fresh restrictions to combat the recent surge in the hopes of salvaging some form of a Christmas season.
Protests have emerged across the continent too, with protestors gathering in Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany and more, as people decry harsh measures and express concern about their livelihoods and the economy at large.