Austria has one of the strictest restrictions in Europe because of the Corona crisis. The country is now planning to ease the measures very slowly and carefully.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (33, ÖVP) announced in a press conference that he was trying to “carefully formulate a plan for how to proceed after Easter”. The first easing: from April 14, small shops and hardware stores should be allowed to open, as well as state parks with entrance restrictions.
▶ ︎ But before there can be any easing, the “exit restrictions will be extended until the end of April,” said Kurz. The obligation to cover the mouth and nose is extended to public transport.
Briefly, the introduction of the timetable for easing started with an appeal: “Easter week will be a decisive week for us. It is crucial for whether the resurrection after Easter, as we all wish it to be, can be possible. ”The prerequisite is that citizens must adhere to the current measures.
★ Shops: From April 14, small specialist retailers (less than 400 square meters of retail space) and hardware stores should be allowed to open. The rule is: only one customer per 20 square meters and regular disinfection of the sales area must be guaranteed.
From May 1st, all shops, shopping centers and hairdressers should be allowed to open.
★ schools: The Matura, the Austrian Abitur, is to take place. High school graduates are allowed to go back to school at the beginning of May. The rest of the time, the study takes place at least until mid-May. But the following also applies to parents: “Childcare in schools is still guaranteed and can be used by everyone who needs it,” said Kurz. At the end of April there will be a new decision. The semester at the universities had to be completed digitally.
★ restaurants, hotels and bars: The pleasure has to wait in Austria. There is no specific start date yet. There should be openings at the earliest in mid-May, the decision on this should be made at the end of April. If there is an appointment, the staff should wear masks, only open during the day and not fill all the tables, reports that News portal Oe24.
★ Events: There will be no large-scale events until the end of June. Then a new decision should be made.
★ Beauty: With massage, cosmetics and manicures, it will probably take the longest before it becomes normal again, because there is inevitably physical contact. This area should initially remain closed.
★ Gyms, sports facilities and swimming pools: No opening planned so far. The situation is to be reassessed at the end of April.
★Cinema, theater and cultural sites: Again, everything is closed. The situation is to be reassessed at the end of April.
Oe24.at had reported loosening before the press conference. The prerequisite for the timetable is that fewer than 100 people per day are newly infected in Austria. And: Masks and distance from other people will also be necessary for the next few months.
As the news portal further reports, the home office obligation in Austria is to be gradually withdrawn from May. The following also applies here: mask and distance are required.
Oe24 also reports that there should still be clear restrictions when traveling. A summer vacation in the distance is therefore probably not possible, you should not be allowed to travel to other countries by plane, car or train. But at least: Holidays for Austrians in their own country should be made possible.
Chancellor Kurz said at the press conference that “freedom of travel – as we know it – does not currently exist. As long as the corona virus keeps the world busy, it will stay that way. “