The government wants to decide on Wednesday about easing the corona lockdown

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One will have to take opening steps “carefully”, said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) before the consultations on Tuesday. He wants to repeat the mass tests that will start this week – for particularly affected regions, professional groups and for entire states. Kurz had already announced a week ago that the first thing to do is to open schools and the retail sector.

“The mass tests will of course be repeated,” Kurz emphasized. “In theory, it would be perfect to test the entire population two or three times.” This would “virtually wipe out the virus”. However, there are limits to the availability and logistics. In this respect, he said, one must do what is practically feasible.

Kurz sees responsibility for the corona situation, which is much worse in Austria than in Germany, on several levels. “I believe that it is an overall responsibility that we in Austria master this pandemic as well as possible. Kurz emphasized that the response in spring had been early and that he had also pressed for tougher measures early on in the fall. He sees the high infection figures as confirmation that the second lockdown was necessary, even though many had criticized the tough measures.

A week ago, Kurz had already announced that the first thing to do would be to reopen schools and retail outlets. It is not yet known in detail in what form the attendance classes will be resumed. There are discussions about masks in the classroom, shift work and smaller groups, some of them in outsourced rooms outside the schools. It is fixed that all 200,000 teachers and kindergarten teachers will be called upon to take the Corona quick test next weekend. Education Minister Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP) did not make any further statements on the opening of the schools during a press conference on Tuesday.

From today’s point of view, stores will also be allowed to open from December 7, but with restrictions on the number of people in the stores. Here there are hardly any alternatives to opening the stores, otherwise the domestic trade would miss the entire Christmas business, because online shopping is largely intercepted by the American giants. And also the “Department Store Austria” presented by Minister of Economic Affairs Margarete Schramböck (ÖVP) after half a year of development time on Monday does not bring any remedy here, because online sales are not even offered via this platform.

Gastronomy and cultural businesses, however, are likely to remain closed. Sports facilities will also have to wait. In the foreseeable future, however, more sport should be possible again, especially if it takes place outdoors and as individual sports, Kurz recently announced. This will probably refer to skiing, which is currently being fought over. A possible compromise here would be to open the ski slopes only for day guests.

hp, Source: APA, picture: pixabay.com

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