Will Austria in lockdown mode again?

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The government will discuss on March 1 how to proceed with the Corona measures in Austria.

The corona virus continues to spread in Austria. In the last 24 hours alone, over 2,000 new cases have again been registered in the country. Not only do the numbers remain at a high level, but they continue to rise. But there is no real sign of this on the streets. Because despite the rising Corona numbers in the country, the pedestrian zones and shopping streets are full.

According to Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens), a “corona fatigue” has now been noticed in Austria. A large part of the population still dutifully complies with the government’s measures (distance, FFP2 mask, hygiene, etc.), but people’s frustration is growing and their willingness to comply with the rules is declining. “A lockdown in which no one participates makes little sense,” Chancellor Kurz recently made clear.

However, despite missing the government’s target of around 700 new infections per day and the continued high Corona numbers in the country, he said the decision would have been made to dare to take further opening steps in the country. To keep the virus under control, Austria is relying primarily on Corona testing. Only those who can show a negative test are allowed to go to the hairdresser, for example. And the concept has been well received by the population.

So well, in fact, that calls for further steps toward greater openness are now growing louder. Above all, the gastronomy, tourism and culture want to have a perspective again and be allowed to open as soon as possible. As with body-related services (hairdressers, massage, etc.), “access tests” are to be the solution in these sectors as well, finally ending the lockdown after months.

Of course, the government has not missed the calls of the restaurants, hotels and the like, and apparently they are really thinking about reopening restaurants etc. under strict Corona measures. In any case, the next major Corona summit of the federal government will take place on March 1. And according to Health Minister Anschober, the course of the meeting will again be the same as before.

First, the current Corona situation in Austria will be discussed with experts, simulation researchers and mathematicians, and further opening steps or tightening will be debated. Afterwards one exchanges oneself with the state governors as well as with the opposition parties. Whether on coming Monday really further openings are announced, stands at present still on knife edge.

Health Minister Rudolf Anschober communicated on Friday in a press conference that one will look at the development of the Corona numbers in the country completely exactly and then decide whether further openings, for example of the catering trade, are at all justifiable. If the number of new infections continues to rise and the virus mutations continue to spread, there could also be tightening. Should this case actually occur, however, Anschober hopes that at least schools will be exempt.

As of Friday (12:00 p.m.), in any case, it is not yet clear what will happen to the Corona rules in Austria after March 1. While many people in the country would certainly be happy to see further opening steps, in view of the rising numbers in the country, these are more than uncertain. The decision will be made in four days at the government’s lockdown summit.

  • source: heute.at/picture:pixabay.com
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