Chancellor Karl Nehammer plans further easing starting in March

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It’s cold, infection rates remain high, but spring is coming into view – and Austria is opening up. Numerous Corona rules will fall in the coming days or at least in the foreseeable future that has already been decided in part. In addition, an “opening summit” will be held on Wednesday. For this, the government constantly consults with experts and state governors. The idea is to have a “Freedom Day” based on the international model – although the Greens, in particular, do not particularly like the marketing term. The idea behind it: In March, all – or at least the vast majority of – Covid rules should then be lifted.

A corresponding perspective announcement is expected on Wednesday. The motto: Caution in February, lots of freedom starting in March – at least as long as the new Omicron subtype doesn’t turn out to be a gamechanger. In government circles, it is also always emphasized that the pandemic is not over, that much is still in flux – and that there are no more certain promises. Nevertheless, the country now needs a medium-term perspective, which is what they want to provide.

Elsewhere, however, there are signs of a reduction in freedoms in the pandemic: The government is planning to restrict the possibilities for free testing. At least for certain groups, tests could be subject to a charge. During a visit to Switzerland, Chancellor Karl Nehammer spoke out clearly in favor of an end to free mass testing: “Paid tests, yes,” he said, adding that talks were underway about “when to use it, when, who should it hit.” Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein confirmed that they were busy revising the testing strategy. It is unclear whether an agreement on this will be reached by Wednesday.

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