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Jakarta Post

Austria shuts museums, suspends all trains to Italy

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Vienna, Austria   /   Wed, March 11, 2020   /   08:02 pm
Austria shuts museums, suspends all trains to Italy The Stephansdom is pictured in Vienna, on March 11, 2020. The Stephansdom is closed for tourists as Austrian authorities announced the closure of national museums as a consequence of measures to limit gatherings to stem the spread of the coronavirus. (AFP/Robert Jaeger / APA)

Austria said Wednesday it will close its national museums and suspend all remaining trains to neighbouring 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 cancelled.

The country announced on Tuesday the near closure of its land border with its southern neighbour, 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.