Austria to extend third COVID-19 lockdown to Feb 8 - APA

People walk down a shopping street amid the government reopening bigger shops as well as small businesses in a loosening of the second lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Vienna, Austria December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

ZURICH, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Austria will extend its COVID-19 lockdown until Feb. 8, the APA news agency reported, citing sources familiar with negotiations between the federal and regional governments on Saturday.

The curbs on public life were supposed to end on Jan. 24, but health officials have warned that infection rates remain too high to start easing restrictions at this stage.

The government has scheduled a news conference for 1000 GMT to discuss its latest measures.

Austria, a country of 8.9 million people, is in its third lockdown, with only essential shops open. The country has reported nearly 390,00 coronavirus cases and almost 7,000 COVID-19-linked deaths since the pandemic began last year.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Pravin Char

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