Thousands march in Vienna against coronavirus restrictions


Protesters in white suits and wearing masks attend a demonstration against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures and their economic consequences in Vienna, Austria, January 16, 2021. The banner reads ''Masks for a lifetime''. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

VIENNA (Reuters) - Thousands of people marched through Vienna on Saturday to protest against restrictions on public life designed to curb the coronavirus pandemic, just as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's government held talks about extending the measures.

Chanting demonstrators - many without masks - held signs including "Kurz Must Go" and "Make Influenza Great Again" during marches through the city centre.

Austria, a country of 8.9 million people, is in its third lockdown, with only essential shops open. The country has reported https://covid19-dashboard.ages.at/?l=en nearly 390,00 coronavirus cases and almost 7,000 COVID-19 linked deaths since the pandemic began last year.

Public health experts said after meeting government officials that infection rates were too high to consider easing restrictions at this point. The government was due to announce its next steps on Sunday.

(Reporting by Lisi Niesner, writing by Michael Shields; editing by Louise Heavens)

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