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Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Photo: Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Monday that his country plans to take steps to begin lifting its coronavirus lockdown next week, Reuters reports.

The state of play: Kurz said the country would begin reopening non-essential shops of less than 400 square meters on April 14, followed by all shops and malls on May 1.

  • Schools will stay closed until mid-May with public events banned until June, notes MarketWatch.
  • Kurz also said that the government "always has the possibility to hit the emergency brake" should the rate of infections spike as restrictions wind down.

The big picture: Austria has more than 12,000 cases and at least 220 deaths from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At least 3,463 people have recovered from the disease.

  • The country, which borders Italy, was one of the first in Europe to institute a wide national lockdown on March 16. Kurz's government has also taken steps like making the use of face masks in stores mandatory, per the BBC.

Go deeper: Irish prime minister returns to medicine to help with coronavirus crisis

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.