Corona summit: Chancellor Kurz announces “opening steps in all areas from mid-May”.

In the usual manner, consultations of the government with experts, opposition and countries on the Corona measures took place today, Friday..

At 11 a.m. there were consultations with experts and the opposition, then at 1 p.m. there was a video conference to the provincial governors. From 3:30 p.m., the government announced the result of the meeting via press conference.

Teachers and policemen vaccinated at the end of April
The consultations with the provinces had been very “swift and harmonious”, said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP). Kurz said he was pleased that a “vaccination turbo” was now coming with the additional million doses in the second quarter from Biontech/Pfizer. 100,000 doses will come in April, 300,000 in May and 600,000 in June. That means teachers and police officers can probably be vaccinated through the end of April.

Of those over 65 in Austria, 50 percent are now vaccinated, he said. “Vaccination is not only progressing, it is also working,” Kurz said, referring to the Tyrolean district of Schwaz, which has already been fully vaccinated. “The goal that we can return to normality in the summer is not just a goal, but will become a reality very soon. Due to the vaccination progress, the openings are possible from mid-May.”

All opening steps will be done “cautiously,” the Chancellor said. Masks, tests and also the “green passport” would play a major role. The Green Passport will “be a very essential pillar” and will have to be worked out with the openings.

The openings are to be made in all areas – culture, sports, gastronomy and tourism – at the same time. Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) confirmed that “based on the forecasts” it is possible to think about opening steps. He did not want to commit himself to an “exact day”. A concrete date is to be negotiated next week within the opening commission set up for this purpose and communicated by the end of the week.

Current situation
In the eastern provinces of Austria, there is no relief in sight for intensive care units for the time being, not even in Burgenland. There, the lockdown ends on Monday. Retail, services and schools will open again. The fact that Vienna and Lower Austria are extending the lockdown until May 2 was expressly welcomed by the Commission.

  • sources: press conference of the Federal government on 16 April 2021, 15.30 Hours/kurier.at/picture: pixabay.com

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