Coronavirus: Austria shuts museums, suspends all Italy trains

Police officers wear protective masks as they close a hotel near the city centre in Innsbruck, Austria, on February 25, 2020 after a woman who worked here has been confirmed infected with the coronavirus. (AFP)

Austria said Wednesday it will close its national museums and suspend all remaining trains to neighboring Italy to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

The decision affects rail links from regions in western and southern Austria which border Italy. All long-distance routes -- notably overnight trains to Rome, Milan and Venice -- had already been canceled.

The country announced on Tuesday the near closure of its land border with its southern neighbor, now requiring a medical certificate for private individuals arriving from Italy. Cargo transport is exempt.

Meanwhile, Vienna International Airport on Wednesday reported a 30 percent decline in passenger traffic so far in March compared with a year ago.

National museum directors said their doors will be closed until March 31. The state opera and Musikverein, home to Vienna's philharmonic orchestra, said on Tuesday they would also cancel concerts until the end of March to comply with the government ban on gatherings of more than 100 people in closed spaces.

The Austrian National Library has also closed.

The country of more than eight million people has so far reported 206 confirmed cases of COVID-19 but no deaths.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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