Gastronomy, sports facilities and hotels might remain closed for even longer time

Schools and retailers will be allowed to open their doors again in just over a week. The leisure industry will probably have to wait even longer.

While across Europe there is fierce debate about a skiing ban, the employment market service continues to do its job unperturbed. It calls on job seekers to apply for open positions in winter tourism. Corresponding initiatives made the round in social networks in the last days. Particularly since waiters for après-ski restaurants are also being sought, which even in the case of an opening of the skiing areas have to reckon with massive restrictions.

Former chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel (ÖVP) jumped on the government’s side in the conflicts with some other countries this weekend. In the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” he spoke out against the ban on winter tourism demanded by Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and other states: “A total lockdown of entire valleys and economic sectors is no longer proportionate,” he wrote.

Infection figures decisive
What the lockdown loosening may look like depends on the further development of the infections. The government has made announcements on this for Wednesday. Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) is dampening expectations. “We will have to live with further massive restrictions after December 7,” he told the “Kleine Zeitung”. In any case, there would be no “hasty opening steps”. Here is an overview of the current situation.

Trade – Closed stores might open up again after December 7, although there are likely to be more severe restrictions. Only one customer per ten square meters is to be allowed to enter the stores, with a possible increase to 20 square meters in certain areas. Entry restrictions, including traffic controls and parking space reductions, are to be expected. The government will not say until Wednesday whether there will be gradual changes. In mid-April, smaller stores opened first, along with DIY stores and garden centers. The rest were not allowed to open until the beginning of May. The Constitutional Court, however, overturned the distinction based on size.
Gastronomy – There is still a big question mark. Many restaurant owners do not want to open up at all, since Christmas parties are out of the question. Gastronomy spokesman Mario Pulker has already hinted that it would be more sensible for the industry to remain in a lockdown with a simultaneous extension of compensation. However there are many other voices. Distance rules and the like can be expected. In the hotel industry, the discussions are similar and are very much linked to the topic of skiing ban.
Events/Sport – It is quite clear that fitness studios, tennis halls and other sports facilities will remain closed for even longer. Other leisure activities and events will also remain prohibited beyond the seventh of December. Relaxations will be made dependent on the infection situation.
Schools – Already last week it was announced that opening steps are pending. On Monday in a week, classes at compulsory schools are expected to start again, albeit under certain conditions. Shift work, alternative accommodation, compulsory masks and similar measures are being considered.

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