March 17, 2020 / 11:28 AM / 17 days ago

Austria's rail transport down 70%, passenger road traffic down to minimum

Police cars pass closed shops after the government closed shops and restaurants and asked people to stay at home amid the fears of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Vienna, Austria March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria’s rail transport operations have come down 70% in the past days and necessary passenger road traffic has been reduced to a minimum following broad restrictions in public life, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told news agency APA on Tuesday.

The Alpine republic, which has reported 1,132 coronavirus cases and three deaths from the global pandemic, announced major restrictions on movement in public places on Sunday, banning gatherings of more than five people and urging Austrians to self-isolate. Schools and shops that sell non-essential goods are closed.

“A big challenge are the capapacities of service hotlines, because there is not an unlimited number of persons who can answer especially medicial questions,” Kurz said.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Riham Alkousaa

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