Q and A: Lockdown in the Eastern part of Austria until April 18

Relaxations are not yet expected in the second half of April. Austrian Press answers some of the important questions regarding the lockdown in Vienna, Burgenland and Lower Austria.

As announced on Tuesday, the east of Austria – Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland – will at least remain in lockdown until the end of next week, along with general exit restrictions.

But what happens then – from Monday, April 19?

Only the Medical Association gave a clear answer to date: President Thomas Szekeres on Wednesday urgently demanded a “lockdown for all of Austria”. “The situation in hospitals and intensive care units is dramatic. Not only in Vienna and eastern Austria, but also in the provinces.”

The federal government has not yet come to a conclusion on this issue, which is also related to the development of infection figures, which are high but stable. One should not expect relaxations in the second half of April, but rather tightenings (lockdown), which could then affect (almost) the entire federal territory. However, nothing is fixed yet.

Opening commission
With the vaccination progress hoped for by then (on Wednesday a small milestone was reached, now 500,000 people in Austria are “fully immunized” thanks to the second dose), there should be opening steps only at the beginning of May. A commission will be set up for this purpose, in which the social partners will be represented as well as the association of cities and municipalities, the chairman of the conference of provincial governors and representatives of the industries. Details are expected in the second half of April.

Which provinces are currently in a hard lockdown?

Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland, for the time being until April 18.

What are the consequences?

This means exit restrictions around the clock: people are only allowed to leave their own living quarters for one of the reasons known from the three Austria-wide hard lockdowns so far, e.g. to go to work or to go for a run. A household may only be visited by one person from another household. All stores away from everyday needs (e.g. supermarkets) or pharmacies are closed, as are personal service providers and leisure facilities such as zoos or museums.

What is the present situation in the schools?

With the lockdown extended, Distance Learning will also be expanded. Only graduating classes will be allowed to attend face-to-face classes – with differences: Elementary school 4th graders will have classroom instruction all five days of the week; all other types of schools will have shift instruction.

Are there additional measures in the eastern region?

Yes. In Vienna, FFP2 is compulsory in some outdoor places, such as the Danube Canal. In Lower Austria, exit tests apply in several districts.

What applies to the other federal states?

Upper Austria, Carinthia, Salzburg, Tyrol and Styria are in lockdown light: exit restrictions apply from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., two households are allowed to meet during the day (maximum four adults and six children). Retail is open, as are personal service providers such as hairdressers. Elementary schools are in de facto normal operation (with tests), and the other school levels are in shift operation. Restaurants are closed, as in the East. Tyrol, however, has an additional measure: one may only leave the country with a negative Corona test (only East Tyrol is exempt).

Where does relative normality prevail?

Only in Vorarlberg. Restaurants were allowed to open on March 15, albeit subject to conditions: testing is mandatory for guests.

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

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