Parliament lockdown officially extended to December 11th

The currently applicable lockdown was extended to December 11th as planned in the main committee of the National Council on Tuesday afternoon. The government groups ÖVP and Greens as well as the SPÖ voted for the corresponding ordinance by Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens). There was no approval from Neos and FPÖ, it was said in the evening to the APA from the parliamentary clubs.

With the “1st amendment to the 5th COVID-19 Emergency Measures Ordinance”, the current lockdown will remain in force until December 11th, as announced by the government (a total of 20 days). The amendment was necessary because, according to the law, exit restrictions can only be imposed for ten days at a time. The other lockdown regulations remain essentially unchanged.

The biggest change is the restriction on shop opening times, which became known the day before: those shops and suppliers that have been allowed to keep the basic supply open in the current lockdown must close their doors by 7 p.m. on Thursday at the latest. Until now, it was possible to keep them open until 9 p.m. at the latest.

In addition, it is stated (in the “legal justification” to the regulation) that the sale of Christmas trees falls under the exception of “agricultural trade”. Therefore, Christmas trees can also be sold during the lockdown, and sale at stands is expressly permitted.

Rejection of the FPÖ

The Ministry of Health also used the amendment to implement the announced reduction in the validity of vaccination certificates in the Green Pass – from 360 to 270 days. This does not apply to people who have been vaccinated twice and have recovered. The vaccination certificate is still valid for 360 days. This regulation comes into force on December 6th.

As expected, a no to the extension came from the FPÖ, which was fundamentally opposed to the lockdown, and from the Neos. Compared to the APA, the pink parliamentary club justified the rejection, among other things, with the wish for an earlier opening of trade – “under strict security precautions”.

According to Health Minister Mückstein, how the lockdown continues after December 11th depends on the further epidemiological situation, as he said according to parliamentary correspondence in the main committee. What is clear, however, is the extension of the lockdown for unvaccinated people, he emphasized.

The measures are now working, as evidenced by the (lower) 7-day incidence. Nevertheless, the number of infections is still at a very high level and the situation in the hospitals is dramatic. The capacity situation will continue to worsen over the next week or two. According to the Minister of Health, triages are already taking place in Austria’s hospitals not only for light operations, but also for those for cancer patients. In some cases, it must also be decided which case has the better chance of survival. (apa)

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