After lockdown: tests for events, hospitals, homes and hotels

It is true that tests will in all likelihood continue to play a role in the future as far as everyday life is concerned. But all of this is to be embedded in a testing concept that will only be applied after the lockdown.

So anyone who doesn’t want to do without certain things in the near future will probably have to present a negative Corona test that is no more than 48 hours old. This will most likely include events with more than twenty people, as well as visits to hospitals, nursing homes and homes for the elderly. Access to hotels will also be regulated. The regulation will apply to places where there is “prolonged interaction with other people”. Those whose Corona disease has been present for more than three months will be exempted from the regulations.

The details of the individual areas will not be finalized until the corresponding ordinance from the Ministry of Health is available. Definitely the ranges trade and gastronoly trade are to be excluded however, are called it on the part of the Ministry. It is to be thus probably further possible to visit business and taverns also without Corona test. With the regulation to meetings are besides such in the private range as well as demonstrations explicitly excluded.

For the control “generally” the operators are to be responsible, it is called on the part of the Ministry of Health. “In further consequence” but also the authorities. Criticism comes from the “IG Österreichische Veranstaltungswirtschaft”: although they are prepared to make a contribution, they see “quick-fire announcements” without direct discussion with those affected.

Five million self-tests for schools and kindergartens
It is not yet clear when classes will resume in schools, let alone when normal operations can be assumed. According to reports, it will be necessary to wait for the next few days before a decision is made regarding the opening of schools. If the school is opened, the upper grades will also be involved. The Ministry of Education has agreed with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) that the schools will be the first to be opened.

What is now clear, however, is that a new testing strategy is also to be introduced in the education sector, which ideally should also contribute to the permanent opening of schools. Education Minister Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP) presented plans to this effect at the weekend. Specifically, schools are to be provided with five million free Corona self-tests from the time that face-to-face teaching resumes. These are so-called anterio-nasal tests, which are to enable simple handling even for laypersons. A short swab is used to take secretions from the front of the nose.

Students, teachers and elementary educators should then test themselves, with elementary school students taking home test kits. Children under 14 need a parental consent form. The result is available in a few minutes. If the result is positive, a PCR test must be done. The tests are to be done once a week, and later possibly twice a week.

All this is supposed to work on a voluntary basis. The consequences of compulsory testing would probably be too sensitive in practice if students (or their parents) refuse to take the test. The Ministry of Education is also asking teachers to participate in the mass tests again in such large numbers. These participated with the last round, with which there were however also appropriate meetings in each Land of the Federal Republic, in large number.

However, teachers and elementary educators will not escape without consequences if they refuse to take part in the tests: They are also part of those professional groups for whom weekly testing is planned in the future as part of the new strategy. If they refuse to take part, they will have to wear FFP2 masks.

— with reports from

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