Austria is gradually relaxing corona measures

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Karl Nehammer (ÖVP), Chancellor of Austria, announces relaxation of the corona measures. © Lisa Leutner/AP/dpa

The peak of the current corona wave is still to come in Austria. However, the government is already risking a perspective for the time after that. Hotel guests can look forward to it too.

Vienna – Despite the currently high number of new infections, Austria will soon gradually relax its corona measures. The curfew will be pushed from 10 p.m. to midnight from February 5, said Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) on Saturday in Vienna. From February 12th, the 2G rule will fall in retail.

However, the obligation to wear an FFP2 mask remains. From February 19th, the 3G rule will apply again in gastronomy and tourism instead of the 2G rule, it said. This makes it possible to visit bars even with a negative corona test.

The phased plan for the easing was created with a view to the peak of the current corona wave, it said. The highest number of new infections is expected for the end of the first week of February. The seven-day incidence in Austria is currently around 2,400 per 100,000 inhabitants – more than twice as high as in Germany.

Clinics only slightly loaded

The basis for the decisions is therefore the foreseeable further low burden on the clinics. “These numbers are stable and at a really predictable level,” said Nehammer about the situation in the normal and intensive care units. Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens) said there was no longer any risk of overloading, especially in the intensive care units.

The trade association was relieved. The checks at the cash registers and entrances will soon be over. “We are pleased that we no longer have to play the police force from February 12th and can thus give everyone confidence again,” said trade spokesman Rainer Will.

Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) explained that the 10 p.m. curfew in particular was a major challenge for companies and guests. She also hopes for a perspective for night gastronomy and for the big events in the next few weeks.

It is unclear how the announced easing will affect the willingness to vaccinate. Although the members of the government again campaigned vehemently for the protective injection, the vaccination momentum had recently flagged despite the impending vaccination requirement. dpa

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