Protests Erupt in Austria, Italy, Crotia Over New COVID Restrictions
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- Thousands of protesters Saturday marched through Vienna after the Austrian government announced a nationwide lockdown beginning Monday to curb surging coronavirus infections
- The Austrian government made the announcement after the average daily COVID-19 deaths tripled over the last few weeks, with hospital beds and intensive care units stretching to capacity
- According to officials, the lockdown will last at least 10 days but could be extended to 20 if cases do not drop. Under the new rules, people will be able to leave their homes only for essential reasons, including buying groceries and going for medical care
- The new rules, including mandatory vaccinations beginning Feb. 1, were met with great resistance, as protesters marched through Vienna chanting "Resistance," waving Austrian flags, and carrying signs mocking Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg
- Demonstrations against virus restrictions also took place in Switzerland, Italy, Northern Ireland, and Croatia on Saturday as thousands of people protested against coronavirus restrictions and mandatory COVID-19 passes implemented in many European nations