VIENNA • Austria has announced that private indoor gatherings would be limited to 10 people in the battle to contain a second wave of coronavirus infections.
"From midnight on Monday... all parties, private events and meetings indoors are limited to 10 people," Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a press conference on Thursday. "We have an exponential rise in new infections in Austria," he said, adding that the country was going through a second wave of the pandemic.
Funerals will be exempt from the new rules and the limit for outdoors will remain at 100, with further exemptions for some cultural events.
He admitted it would not be legally possible to enforce the new limit in people's homes but added that he hoped Austrians would follow the rule. Also from tomorrow , cafe and restaurant customers will have to wear a mask whenever they're not at their tables. Previously only waiters and other staff had to wear a face covering.
Austria is recording several hundred new daily infections, with the one-day total at 882 on Sept 11, the second-highest of the whole crisis.
Mr Kurz said he was aware the measures "will once again mean sacrifices" from the population but they were necessary "to hopefully prevent a second lockdown" and the "catastrophic consequences" that would entail.