COVID 19 – FAQs on what is allowed and what is not permitted to do in Austria

Yesterday, 6. April 2020 the Austrian Federal government presented a timetable on the way back to normality. At the same time, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz disclosed new regulations.

Here are some of the important questions and answers on what is now allowed and what is not permitted to do:

Can I celebrate Easter with my family?

Unless you live in the same household: NO! The current restrictions have been extended until the end of April. This means that there are only four reasons to leave the house: to go to work, for urgent errands, to help others or to get some fresh air. The latter, however, only alone or with people with whom you live in a shared household. Also at Easter, celebrations should be avoided in order to minimize the risk of infection.

May I go on an excursion at Easter?

No. It is only allowed to stretch your feet outside. Crowds of people in public spaces are prohibited, a minimum distance of one meter must always be maintained.

When can I visit family and friends again?

The restrictions apply until the end of April. If they will be lifted, these will be decided when the spread of the virus has been reduced and the number of cases of infected persons decreases.

Do I have to wear a mask when shopping?

Yes, since yesterday, Monday, shoppers are obliged to wear masks in supermarkets. On April 14, smaller shops (up to 400 square metres in size) as well as garden centres will open again. Here, the wearing of a mouth and nose protector is mandatory. It does not have to be a medical mask. A self-made protection or even a scarf is sufficient.

When will the large shops and shopping centres open again?

From 1st May 2020 this is allowed. Conditions such as mouth and nose protection and restriction of the number of customers will apply.

Where do I still have to wear the mouth and nose protector?

From 14 April in all open shops, on public transport and at work. However, the latter is to be regulated in the sense of an agreement between employer and employee.

When can I go to the cinema, theatre, sports field or gym again?

Not for the time being. Whether and when this will be possible again will be evaluated at the end of April.

When will public events be possible again?

No events of any kind are permitted until the end of June. This will be evaluated at the end of April if the restriction will continue in summer.

How long will hairdressers and other service providers be closed?

Hairdressers occupy a special position; they will be allowed to reopen from 1 May – subject to security measures. For all other service sectors, the aim is to open gradually from mid-May. However, the decision on this will not be taken until the end of April.

What about the catering and hotel sectors?

Here too, a decision will not be taken until the end of April. However, the aim is a gradual opening from mid-May.

Are there any restrictions for weddings and funerals?

Funerals may take place in the family circle. Weddings and baptisms may take place in the smallest circle. Due to to the imposed ban on going out, birthdays and other private celebrations may only be celebrated with those with whom one lives in the same household. Until the end of April, the regulations on this restriction order will be evaluated.

When can I visit someone in a nursing home or retirement home again?

The residents of these homes belong to the risk group, therefore a visiting ban still applies. The government does not specify a date when this ban will be lifted.

Will swimming pools, lakes and open-air pools be opened at the beginning of the bathing season?

Not for the time being. At the end of April, an evaluation will also be carried out.

What happens if I do not comply with the restrictions?

The police will carry out more checks, especially during Holy Week. Fines of up to 3600 Euros are possible.

Will I be able to go on my planned holiday in summer?

The travel restrictions will remain in place until further notice. The reintroduced controls at the borders with Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein will continue until April 27.

Hector Pascua, Source: Gesundheitsministerium, Stand: 07.4.2020, 09.00 Uhr

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