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Austria will introduce a national lockdown on Tuesday in a bid to bring its soaring coronavirus infections under control, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Saturday.

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Non-essential shops will close and the current curfew from 8pm to 6am will be expanded into an all-day requirement to stay at home, with specific exceptions such as shopping for essentials or exercise, Kurz said. People should work from home wherever possible, he added.

The lockdown is due to last almost three weeks, with the last day set for December 6.

The Austrian government had so far used a lighter touch in dealing with the second wave of coronavirus cases than the first.

A nighttime curfew this month failed to stop infections from accelerating. Daily new cases hit a record of 9,586 on Friday, nine times higher than at the first wave's peak.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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