Contact regulations during the lockdown clarified

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The contact regulations during the lockdown starting on Tuesday were clarified by the government last night. According to the adapted “legal justification” of the “COVID-19 Emergency Measures Ordinance”, only one “individual” of a household may meet or visit members of another household, regardless of their number. However, these must be “closest family members” or “important reference persons”.

In the evening, the Ministry of Health published an adapted version of the explanatory “legal grounds”. According to it – in contrast to what was communicated in the morning – it is not permitted for several members of one household to meet or visit several members of another household. The interpretation of the regulation was previously unclear. In the regulation announced in the evening, permissible private meetings are defined as contact with “individual closest relatives” or with “important person with whom contact is usually maintained several times a week.

Family celebrations not allowed
According to the Ministry of Health, the closest relatives include parents, (adult) children and siblings. The question of who is one of the “important reference persons” depends on a case-by-case assessment, the ministry said. The prerequisite is regular physical contact. However, family celebrations or comparable social gatherings are not a “basic need of daily life” and are not permitted.

Contact with grandparents is also permitted, as long as they are close relatives on the one hand and physical contact has taken place several times a week in the past. In addition, contact with persons in need of support for the purpose of care and assistance is a separate permissible reason for leaving the apartment. Therefore there is no restriction in connection with the care of grandparents in need of support.

Call for restraint
Visits are also possible under the conditions mentioned above, according to the FAQ of the Ministry of Social Affairs. “Visits by individual closest relatives or important caregivers, with whom contact is usually maintained several times a week, are part of the exception ‘Meeting the basic needs of daily life’ and are therefore permitted,” it says there literally. At the same time, it calls for restraint: “Contact with other people should be restricted as much as possible.

To illustrate the possibilities for visits: Starting on Tuesday, it is permitted for an individual to visit several “close relatives” or “important caregivers” at home. However, according to information from the Ministry of Health, two or more relatives (or caregivers) are not allowed to visit a person from outside the household at home – even if they live alone in the same household. It is also clear that it is not necessary to define one or more individual persons that one meets during the lockdown – they can be different persons in each case, provided they fall under the terms “closest relatives” or “important caregivers”.

In principle, the federal government urgently appeals that, if possible, no one should meet anyone and that contacts should be kept to a minimum.

hp, Source: ORF.at/agencies. Picture: pixabay.com

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