Schools closed from Monday until Easter, parents get up to three weeks off, visiting ban in hospitals.

“We are experiencing a rapid increase in numbers not only in Italy but also in Austria. Due to the constant increase in the number of infections, we must take consistent measures,” said Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said during the press conference on Thursday on the current coronavirus situation in the country. Contacts must be reduced to a minimum.

The government’s new measures:

  • There will be no weddings or baptisms within the next few weeks. In addition, fairs will be suspended as far as possible.
  • The provincial governors in Vorarlberg and Styria have postponed the elections.
  • School operations will be de facto suspended from next week until Easter inclusive. High school students will stay away from schools from Monday.
  • Younger pupils are to stay at home. If this is not possible, the children will be looked after in groups of three at school.
  • Kurz stressed that the state will continue to function. The critical infrastructure had been checked in case infection rates would rise rapidly.

Critical infrastructure is intact. In addition to hospitals and the police, this includes supermarkets (food supply) and pharmacies (drug supply). “We need supermarkets, energy suppliers and the executive branch”, Kurz also named as examples those groups of people who are needed to maintain everyday life in Austria.

— Hector Pascua

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