(Bloomberg) --

Tens of thousands gathered in Vienna on Saturday to protest the Austrian government’s new vaccine mandate and a national lockdown to contain record coronavirus cases. 

Europe’s crisis is compounding as hospital wards fill up and infections explode in countries across the continent. Tighter curbs have spurred pockets of unrest, including a riot in the Netherlands on Friday night in which the police shot and injured two people. Protesters in Croatia attacked camera crews covering a demonstration on Saturday. 

Infections in Florida rose over the last week, ending a steep decline in new cases that peaked last summer as the delta variant spread through the U.S. South, state data show. 

Key Developments:

  • Virus Tracker: Cases exceed 257 million; deaths pass 5.14 million
  • Vaccine Tracker: More than 7.67 billion shots given
  • Unrest is spreading in Europe as coronavirus lockdowns return
  • Virus may prove elephant in the room that strategists missed
  • How delta is bolstering the case for Covid boosters: QuickTake
  • Global opening threatened by new lockdowns in Europe

Aboriginal Communities Lock Down (5:30 p.m. NY)

Two small Aboriginal communities in Australia’s Northern Territory will go into a hard lockdown after nine new infections were found. Residents of Binjari and Rockhole must remain at home except for medical treatment or in the case of an emergency. The infections bring the NT outbreak to a total of 35.

There is particular concern about spread through Australia’s rural Indigenous communities because of higher rates of underlying health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Meanwhile, Victoria state reported 1,275 new cases on Sunday. New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, recorded 176 new cases.

Disney World Reported to Halt Employee Shot Mandate (3:43 p.m. NY)

Walt Disney World in Orlando has stopped mandating vaccines for its cast members and employees, according to a local TV report. A spokesperson for resort complex declined to comment on the specific changes to its vaccine mandate, which was first reported by Fox 35 in Orlando. 

The decision comes after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation that would restrict Covid vaccine mandates by employers.

French Cases Spike (3:36 p.m. NY)

France reported 22,678 new cases in the past 24 hours, up from 14,646 a week earlier. The total number of deaths rose by 24 to 118,446. France’s top health authorities on Friday advised that all people aged 40 or older get a booster six months after the previous shot. The French government will consider widening the booster shot campaign to this age range “soon,” Health Minister Olivier Veran tweeted on Friday.

Outbreak Worsens in New Hampshire (2:55 p.m. NY)

Infections in New Hampshire, one of the most vaccinated U.S. states, are soaring, with the seven-day average now at the highest point of the pandemic, state data show. Hospitalizations are at a near record, set at the end of 2020. 

As in neighboring Maine, where the outbreak has also worsened, the virus is largely attacking the unvaccinated as the weather grows colder and people move indoors, health officials say. Almost 83% of the population has had at least one dose of vaccine, compared with the U.S. average of 68.7%, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.  

U.S. cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, particularly in the Midwest and Northeast, including several states with above-average vaccination rates. 

Thousands Protest Croatian Virus Passes (1:47 p.m. NY)

More than 10,000 protested against Covid passes in Croatia’s capital Zagreb on Saturday, chanting against the government and the vaccination campaign, state broadcaster HRT reported. Gathered at the city’s main square, some protesters attacked camera crews covering the event and police prevented part of the crowd from marching into the state television’s head office.

Florida Weekly Cases Rise (12:04 p.m. NY)

Infections in Florida rose over the last week, ending a steep decline in new cases that peaked last summer as the delta variant spread through the U.S. South, state data show. 

Weekly infections rose to 10,828 in the week ending Nov. 19, compared with 10,732 the previous week, as new cases trend upward nationally. Florida’s weekly cases reached more than 151,000 in August, making up a fifth of all U.S. infections. 

Weekly deaths in Florida also rose slightly, to 385. 

Vienna Protest Draws Tens of Thousands (11:46 a.m. NY)

Tens of thousands gathered in Vienna on Saturday to protest the Austrian government’s new vaccine mandate and a national lockdown to contain record coronavirus cases.

The demonstration came as unrest is on the rise in Europe, where governments, desperate to end the pandemic and its damage to their economies and health care systems, are increasingly focusing on the unvaccinated. 

Austria will enter its fourth nationwide pandemic lockdown on Monday. Unvaccinated people will remain subject to restrictions once the lockdown ends, potentially after three weeks. 

Protests in French Guadeloupe Continue (10:16 a.m. NY)

Protests in the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe against so-called health passes are continuing. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Sebastien Lecornu, minister for overseas territories, will hold a meeting later Saturday on the unrest, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry. Policemen were hurt last night as protests in Guadeloupe continued in spite of a curfew, Le Monde reported. France decided to send an additional 200 police forces in Guadeloupe to help deal with the protests, Darmanin tweeted on Friday.

Ireland Has Most Cases Since January (11:23 a.m. NY)

Ireland reported 5,959 cases, the highest daily tally since January. The country had 640 patients hospitalized, of which 121 were in intensive care, according to the Department of Health.

Iran Lifts Curfew, Plans to Reopen Schools (6:45 a.m. NY)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi ordered the lifting of a nighttime traffic curfew that had been in place since last year, state TV reported on Saturday. The country also plans to reopen schools nationwide as of Monday as part of measures to relax coronavirus restrictions.

German State of Saxony Tightens Curbs (4:31 p.m. HK)

The German state of Saxony, one of the worst hit by the latest wave of infections, announced tighter curbs on public life. Starting Monday, many culture venues as well as bars and nightclubs will have to close, Christmas markets are cancelled and people who aren’t vaccinated face a curfew in hotspot areas. The measures come after the state of Bavaria introduced a lockdown for districts with high levels of infection.

Cases in the country jumped by 63,924 from a day earlier, according to data from the RKI public-health institute. It also recorded 248 new fatalities, taking the total number to 98,987. The 7-day incidence rate for infections reached a record 362.2 per 100,000.

Record Czech Cases as Unvaccinated Face Curbs (4:23 p.m HK)

The Czech Republic reported a fresh record of new Covid-19 cases in the past day, with 22,936 infections in the country of 10.7 million. Hospitals are beginning to scale back non-Covid treatments and some are asking the army for help. Authorities are trying to stem the spread by targeting unvaccinated people. From Monday, those refusing inoculation will be barred from public events and services like restaurants, pubs or hairdressers.

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