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Coronavirus testing in Austria. Photo: ALEX HALADA/AFP via Getty Images

Austria and Switzerland have both announced they will impose lockdown measures as novel coronavirus cases climb in each country.

By the numbers: Austria has more than 337,000 confirmed cases and over 5,200 deaths to date, while Switzerland has seen nearly 404,000 confirmed cases and over 6,500 deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Austria reported 2,085 daily cases on Friday and Switzerland confirmed 4,478.

The state of play: Austrian officials said the country will enter its third coronavirus lockdown after the Dec. 25 Christmas holiday, and 11 days after its second lockdown lapsed, Reuters reports.

  • Shops, restaurants, theaters, museums and schools will remain closed through at least the week of Jan. 18.
  • Mass COVID-19 tests will be administered between Jan. 15 and Jan .17 — those who test negative will be able to end their lockdown sooner. For those who do not get tested, lockdown will last until Jan. 24.
  • Ski resorts can continue to operate, but Austrian provinces will also have a say on whether they continue to run.

The Swiss government ordered all bars, restaurants, cultural venues and sports facilities to close beginning Dec. 22.

  • Stores can remain open with limited capacity and will be required to close at 7 p.m., on Sundays and public holidays.
  • Like Austria, the Swiss government is allowing states to decide whether to shutter skiing facilities.
    • During a press conference, health officials cautioned states, saying that "hospitals are full and putting a lot of people on snow slopes can lead to an increase in accidents and we need to be very careful."
  • They recommend people stay home, keep social contact to a minimum and avoid unnecessary travel.

Worth noting: "If Europeans were to follow the World Health Organization's advice, Christmas would have a very different feel this year," ABC News writes.

  • The WHO on Wednesday recommended that religious gatherings be postponed or canceled.
  • The organization further advised that European countries consider "postponing, limiting or cancelling mass gatherings" in ski resorts.
  • "Gatherings should be held outside if possible, and participants should wear masks and maintain physical distancing. If held indoors, limiting group size and ensuring good ventilation to reduce exposure risk are key," WHO said.

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California — America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron — CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers.
  2. Politics: Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come — Meta removes accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China.
  3. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  4. World: Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people — Omicron variant detected in more countriesWHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.