Austria set to tighten coronavirus rules as case counts climb

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Austria's ICU beds filling up
Austria's ICU beds filling up

More than 300 intensive care beds are being used by Covid-19 patients in Austria as of Tuesday, meaning the country is days away from a series of automatic restrictions designed to stop the disease from spreading.

According to laws put in place since the pandemic struck, once health authorities record 300 beds occupied by Covid-19 patients, a one-week clock starts ticking.

Tuesday’s count stood at 317, a 25-person increase in one day. The number of patients in non-intensive care beds also jumped by 145, to 1,600.

At the end of the seven days, the country will go on the second level of a five-level system. Once level two is in effect, night-time restaurant dining and other events attended by large crowds are only open to those who can prove they are infected against or have recovered from the coronavirus.

The country recorded 5,398 new cases within the last 24 hours on Tuesday, which is equivalent to an incidence rate of 400 cases per 100,000 residents.

Should the situation worse, the law calls for further tightening of restrictions. In the worst case, those who are not vaccinated could be required to isolate themselves at home.

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