Austria tamps down New Year’s Eve parties to fight omicron

VIENNA (AP) — Austria has announced a slate of new measures aimed at slowing the spread of the omicron variant, including closing restaurants earlier and imposing stricter entry requirements from countries where the variant is already dominant. Katharina Reich, co-leader of the country’s new coronavirus crisis team, said after a meeting between national leaders and state governors that “omicron presents us with the next epidemiological challenge.” Starting on Dec. 27, restaurants must close at 10 p.m., including on New Year’s Eve, and limits will be imposed on large gatherings. Austria is also adding Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway to its list of “virus variant areas,” which comes with stricter entry requirements.