Following the press conference of the federal government, Vienna’s mayor presented the roadmap for the national capital.
The federal capital has recently always taken a stricter approach to corona protection measures than the rest of the country. To continue to protect hospitals from overcrowding, Vienna will open, but with caution. “We want to remain cautious,” says Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ). The wearing of FFP2 masks is to be retained throughout the trade. This is the “least means of restriction,” says Ludwig.
Therefore one wants to hold, at least for up to 5 March beyond the mask obligation. Wherever masks cannot be worn at all times, for example, in the catering trade, particular caution is required. In Vienna, after February 19, the 2-G-rule in the catering trade is to be maintained. Probably even beyond March 5.
Night gastronomy also opens in Vienna
Ludwig was convinced that there would be understanding for the Viennese way – for example, in the night gastronomy. As in the rest of the country, night gastronomy will reopen in Vienna from March 5. The operators had already signaled that they would see it positively if their guests were offered a safe environment. Whether there will be a 2G obligation or even the need for an additional PCR test (“2Gplus”) after opening, there is still an open question, according to the city leader.
Ludwig also assured that he would continue to adhere to the free testing system. However, if the federal government decides to phase out the tests at the end of March, Vienna will have to follow suit, Ludwig said. The mayor emphasized that the Viennese test – “Alles gurgelt” – had proven itself in health policy and the national economy.
However, to continue it independently would entail costs in the hundreds of millions. It would not be possible to do this on one’s own; the tests would also be carried out on behalf of the federal government; Ludwig emphasized: “Pandemic control is a matter for the federal government.” This would be financed jointly by the federal states and the federal government through the financial equalization system anyway. It is not a monetary gift from the federal government to the states. Extensive testing could not only reduce individual suffering but also quickly detect mutations; he further pointed out.
The Vienna Health Network medical director, Michael Binder, reported that 611 corona patients were treated in Vienna’s municipal hospitals, 540 in regular wards. After the semester break, a new increase in infections has already become apparent in Vienna and Lower Austria. It is impossible to estimate how the omicron variant BA.2 will develop or affect. The wave will probably “drag on into March,” Binder suspected.
Openings in the federal government
In the rest of the country, nearly all measures fall as of March 5. All 2-G and 3-G rules will be lifted, Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) said in a press statement. In the future, unvaccinated people will enter all areas without testing. However, in highly vulnerable regions (older adults’ homes, nursing homes, and hospitals), the 3G rule for employees and visitors will remain. The curfew will also be lifted, night catering will be allowed to open, and the FFP2 mask requirement will only apply in public transport, supermarkets, post offices, banks, and hospitals, unlike Vienna. The continuation of the free tests is also being questioned, but details have not yet been given. Until the end of March, however, the tests are to remain free of charge.
- source: kurier.at/picture:pixabay.com
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