No lockdown for now: these are the new Omicron rules

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The federal government, state governors and experts from the “all-state Covid Crisis Coordination” (Gecko) discussed the Corona situation Thursday morning. The mood is tense: Austria is facing an enormous wave of infection by the new virus variant Omicron. On Epiphany Day, 8,853 new cases were reported, up from nearly 10,000 the day before, clearly accelerating the intensity of the fifth Corona wave. The government does not intend to impose a lockdown, but to prevent it with a package of measures. Sanctions will be tightened, businesses that do not comply with measures will be blocked in the future, says Nehammer.

There will be preferential treatment for triple-immunized persons: in the future, they will no longer be considered contacts and will therefore not have to go into quarantine. All participants at the press conference urge people to get vaccinated. Each sting is useful and reduces the risk of hospitalization, they said. “Compulsory vaccination is indispensable,” says Nehammer.

And these are the new measures:
Tighten controls and penalties

  1. action sharp at 2G controls next week.
  2. compulsory checks in retail: at interaction points (e.g. at the entrance or at the latest when paying; from 11 January)
  3. all authorities should also control COVID measures within the scope of their activities.
    COVID measures as part of their activities.
  4. temporary bans on entry in the event of violations of COVID measures (as of February 3).
  5. increase in fines (as of Feb. 3).

Quarantine NEW as of 8 January

  1. in the future there will be no more K1 or K2, but only contact person.
  2. in the future you will no longer be a contact person if you have been immunized 3 times or if everyone involved has worn an FFP2 mask. This also applies to children who cannot yet boost themselves.
  3. all contact persons in the critical infrastructure can continue to work with a daily valid test and FFP2 mask.
  4. Positively tested persons can test free from the 5th day.

New mask regulations, home office, green passport

  1. FFP2 mask also outdoor where no 2 meter distance is possible, for example in pedestrian zones, queues, group gatherings, etc.. (Exception for close relatives like partner and children).
  2. federal states can additionally impose the obligation to wear masks in heavily frequented places.
  3. home office should become the rule and not the exception wherever possible. In addition, communication with the social partners.
  4. validity of green passport reduced to 6 months (from February 1)

Lockdown not to be ruled out, but to be prevented
Chancellor Karl Nehammer says Austria must expect a sharp increase in new infections every day, possibly more than 20,000 new infections a day. But: the vaccinations would work: 90 percent of the vaccinations protect against a severe course. Nehammer: “We will continue to increase the vaccination rate.”
Together, everything will be done to prevent another lockdown, he said. Nehammer: “We can’t rule out another lockdown, but we can do everything to prevent another lockdown.”

  • source: from the press conference live via ORF Television on January 6, 15.00 Hours. Picture: pixabay.com
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