Under the measures, Austrians will be asked to work from home, non-essential shops will close, and schools will remain open for children who require face-to-face learning. They will continue until 12 December, but will be reassessed after 10 days.
Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger has already announced that what he called a lockdown for the unvaccinated would start on Monday, and the Czech government is also limiting access to a variety of services. The Netherlands introduced a partial lockdown last weekend.
Austria’s is the first full lockdown imposed by an EU country this winter.
The Europe regional director of the World Health Organization, Hans Kluge, has warned of a hard winter ahead. He blamed insufficient vaccination coverage along with “the easing of preventive measures and the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant”.
Russia on Friday declared a record number of 1,254 Covid deaths in the past 24 hours, for the third day in a row.
Hungary reported its highest level of infections – with 11,289 new cases in a population of 10 million. A third booster jab will be made mandatory for health workers from Saturday, along with masks in most enclosed paces.
Tighter restrictions also come into force in Belgium on Saturday, requiring working from home for four days a week.