dpa/GNA – Austria is extending its coronavirus lockdown for another two weeks, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announces, saying the longer period is needed due to the spread of the new British virus strain.

The goal is now to reopen businesses from February 8 under strict coronavirus containment measures.

But for that to happen the number of new infections reported each day must drop significantly, Kurz said.

An easing of the lockdown was originally planned for January 25.

However, due to the new, more highly transmissible virus mutation discovered in Britain, experts warned against opening up too early.

According to initial findings, the variant B.1.1.7 is already relatively widespread in Austria.

In addition, the distance that people in Austria must keep from each other has grown from 1 to 2 meters. FFP2 masks must now be worn in stores and public transport.

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