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Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz hold a news confernce in Vienna. Photo: Herbert Neubauer/APA/AFP via Getty Images

Austria will impose a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Saturday, after a nighttime curfew and partial shutdown failed to control the country's surge in coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: Austria is experiencing an average of 7,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, Kurz tweeted on Saturday. The nation confirmed a record 9,586 new virus cases on Friday, per Reuters.

Details: Non-essential shops will close and all people will be required to stay home, except when shopping for essential goods or exercising, Kurz said.

  • He also said that people should work from home as much as possible.
  • Primary schools and kindergartens will join secondary schools in switching to distance learning. Childcare will still be provided for those who need it, Kurz said.
  • The lockdown is set to end on Dec. 7. "Our goal: On December 7th, compulsory schools and retail should be the first to reopen after the lockdown," Kurz said.

What he's saying: Austria closed cafes, bars and restaurants and imposed a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. earlier this month, but because the "numbers are still not falling as they should, this makes a further tightening necessary," Kurz tweeted.

  • Kurz also urged people to not meet anyone, saying that every social contact is "one too many."
  • "These measures are extremely drastic. But we want to make sure that the lockdown is strong enough so that the number of infections also drops quickly. This is the only way we can prevent our health system from being overwhelmed," he added.
  • "One thing is clear: Nobody wants schools, restaurants, shops, etc. to be closed. But we have to take this step together. Let's help together!"

The big picture: Countries across Europe, including, the U.K., France, Greece and Italy, have tightened their coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks as the number of new infections grow.

Go deeper... In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

Go deeper

19 hours ago - Health

Fauci: U.S. could have herd immunity by the end of summer 2021

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci at the White House in November. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Tuesday the U.S. could achieve herd immunity to COVID-19 by the end of next summer or fall if there's a "good uptake" of Americans vaccinating against the virus.

Driving the news: Fauci said during an online video conversation with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) he expects the general population to have access to the vaccines U.S regulators are now considering by April.

Updated 16 hours ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.K. government announced Wednesday it approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine that's found to be 95% effective with no serious side effects against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

11 hours ago - World

Putin says Russia will begin large-scale COVID-19 vaccination next week

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that he has directed officials to begin large-scale vaccination against COVID-19 as early as next week, according to state media.

Why it matters: Russia, which has the fourth-largest coronavirus caseload in the world with more than 2.3 million infections, would be the first country to begin mass vaccination. Experts have criticized the lack of scientific transparency around the vaccine and the haste with which the Kremlin approved it.