A popular resort town in Austria has imposed a curfew and urged people to avoid going out as it grapples with a possible second-wave of the coronavirus.
The dpa news agency reported Sunday that hundreds of people have already been tested in the town of St. Wolfgang, east of Salzburg, after the outbreak was first detected Friday. At least 44 of those have tested positive, many of whom are interns working in the tourism industry.
They’re thought to have become infected while partying in the town’s bars, two of which have now been temporarily closed to prevent further spread. A curfew of 11 PM has also been imposed until further notice.
Austria had relaxed many coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks, but has seen a rise in the number of infections lately. Summer festivals including The Verbier Festival in Switzerland was cancelled, as was the prestigious Ojai Festival in California. Salzburg cancelled its Whitsun festival in mid-April. The Salzburg festival, one of the world’s most prestigious summer platforms for classical music, opera, and theatre, kept their plans in place in accordance to pandemic safety guidelines.
The Austrian government declared in June that 100 people were allowed to gather, then 250 in July, and up to 500, even 1,000, in August, depending on the venue of the festival. Salzburg’s directors announced they would put on an abbreviated program, with 90 performances spread over 30 days, according to a Bloomberg report.
Austria, which briefly had a spike of 1,000 cases a day in March, has now crushed its infection rate: Just 12 people in the entire country tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, according to a report by the World Health Organization.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz last week announced that Austria was reintroducing mandatory face masks again in supermarkets, smaller grocery stores, post offices and banks.
In an unrelated outbreak across the border, a large farm in the German state of Bavaria has been put under quarantine after 174 farmhands tested positive. Authorities say the outbreak in Mamming is not believed to have spread outside the farm.
— with inputs from Associated Press
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