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Austria enters third lockdown as many are still celebrating Christmas

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Austria enters third lockdown as many are still celebrating Christmas
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Austria entered its third lockdown on Saturday as many people were still celebrating Christmas.

It will last until January 24th but from the 18th people can get tested and come out of it early if they test negative.

Some of the country's 400 ski resorts re-opened on Christmas Eve — their owners said the rules on distancing would be respected.

But photographs have surfaced on social media suggesting otherwise, and many have questioned the wisdom of allowing busy slopes to open just 48 hours before a new lockdown.

At a Christmas Day news conference, Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz told Austrians that the first quarter of 2021 would be a very gloomy one but that he expected normality to return by the summer.

He added that a third wave of COVID-19 had to be stopped and that testing and vaccination was the answer.

Mass testing was conducted in early December but it wasn't a success.

In Vienna, just under 14 percent took part and in Salzburg, it was around 20 per cent.

Originally, the government had hoped 60 per cent of the population would take part.