Vienna goes for 2G: tightening to level 4

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Vienna tightens Corona measures ahead of government’s crisis summit: starting next week, Vienna moves up to Level 4 in Corona’s staging plan and relies on the 2G rule in all public areas.

Vienna relies on 2G rule in gastronomy and public life
Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) announced on Thursday after a discussion with experts that from the end of next week access to gastronomy, body-related services (such as hairdressers) and gatherings of 25 people or more will only be granted to those who are vaccinated or recovered (2G). This, he said, brings forward Stage 4 in the government’s Corona Stage Plan. It also creates an immunization offer for 5-12 year olds.

Ludwig will prefer stage 4 in government’s stage plan
Ludwig spoke of a “very serious situation” after the roundtable with experts. One forecast had particularly concerned him, he reported – namely that it does not seem impossible that bed occupancy in Austria could soon climb to an all-time high. For this reason, he said, Vienna would now take another step and bring forward the fourth stage of the federal government’s action plan. At the same time, with a view to tomorrow’s round with the federal government and the state governors, he called on the latter to do the same to Vienna.

The medical director of the health association, Michael Binder, also identified a need for action, even if the increase in the number of cases in Vienna was comparatively “restrained”, as he reported. Binder blamed this on the more rapid tightening in Vienna in recent weeks. Nevertheless, the occupancy of intensive care beds is currently only about ten cases below the previous year, he pointed out. “So definitely a threatening development.”

Details of 2G rule still being worked out
Details of the new 2G rule are still being worked out, it said. Ludwig already outlined possible further “escalation stages.” For example, “2G Plus”, i.e. compulsory testing also for vaccinated and recovered persons, is possible if the situation continues to develop so dramatically. In any case, however, a further lockdown should be prevented, the city chief stressed.

The federal government was also asked to initiate an information campaign for the third sting. A vaccination lottery like in Burgenland – and now also in Upper Austria – will not take place in Vienna, Ludwig emphasized. One sets further on low-threshold offers. One for younger people will be added soon. Just a few days after the measures announced today come into force, a test street for children from the age of six is to be set up.

“Strong demand” for corona vaccination for 5- to 12-year-olds in Vienna
Ludwig pointed to reports that four general practitioners in Vienna were already offering such vaccination. “There is a strong demand we hear.” To respond to this, he said, the city will also launch a campaign for this age group. Here, too, the exact details are still being worked out, it was stressed. In any case, pediatricians will also be available for consultations at the vaccination center, Binder promised.

A spokesman for City Health Councillor Peter Hacker (SPÖ) explained to the APA that the offer would be a so-called off-label vaccination, as there are no approved vaccines for children of this age. They are now looking for pediatricians who are willing to carry out the immunizations in the planned facility.

In any case, the parents’ consent will be required. Also, unlike the vaccination for adults, there will probably be no slots without prior booking of appointments. Because the consultations with the child vaccination will be more extensive and probably last longer, was stressed. At which location the vaccination street will be established is still open.

No approval yet for children up to 12 years
In a statement to APA, the Ministry of Health pointed out that off-label vaccinations are basically intended as an exception, but it does not want to assess the announcement by the city of Vienna in more detail until the plans are available. In any case, he said, the National Vaccination Panel would not recommend vaccination of children younger than 12 years until the EMA had reviewed and approved the plans. However, the EMA’s decision is expected soon, it said.

2G rule in Vienna applies from 12 years of age
Off-label vaccination cannot be used for proof of immunization, the spokesperson explained. That is why the announced 2G rule will only apply to people aged twelve and older. For children from the age of six, a Coronatest will continue to be sufficient for a visit to a pub or hairdresser.

  • sources: vienna.at/APA/picture:pixabay.com
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