In addition to the two coalition parties ÖVP and Greens, the SPÖ also voted for the lockdown. This means that exit restrictions apply again to all people in Austria from midnight. The government has announced the lockdown for 20 days. However, since exit restrictions can only be decided for ten days at a time, they must be extended afterwards. The announcement on Friday said that the lockdown should be evaluated after the first ten days.
From Monday you can only leave your own living area for the already known exceptions – for example for going to work or school, for the supply of goods of daily life or for physical and mental relaxation. All trade apart from basic supplies (e.g. supermarkets, tobacconists, drug stores) must close. Gastronomy and hotels are also closed, as are the leisure and cultural sectors.
Distance rule, FFP2 mask requirement, open schools
An FFP2 mask is mandatory in all public, closed indoor areas – the mask obligation also applies at the workplace, where the 3G rule is also still in force. The well-known two-meter distance also applies again. The schools remain open in principle, but politicians have appealed to pupils to be looked after at home if possible.
Visits to hospitals and health resorts as well as old people’s and nursing homes will in future only be possible for those people who, in addition to the previously required 2G proof, can also show a current negative PCR test. Only one visitor per patient per week is allowed in the hospital, with the exception of children and those in need of support. In nursing homes, two visitors per resident are permitted per day.
Skiing in lockdown possible
In contrast to an original draft, skiers can now use cable cars during lockdown. Users must show proof of 2G. Previously, it was planned that cable cars could only be used if they were needed to meet personal needs or for professional purposes.
However, an FFP2 mask must be worn in closed or coverable gondolas or chairlifts (as well as in closed stations). Other outdoor sports facilities can also be entered, whereby the respective sport can only be practiced together with relatives or “important caregivers” and there is no physical contact. Closed rooms such as cloakrooms may only be entered if this is necessary to practice outdoor sports.
A visit to a drive-in cinema should also be possible, writes the APA, citing the text decided on in the main committee. It says that meetings are permitted if multi-lane motor vehicles are used to drive into theaters, concert halls and arenas, cinemas, variety theaters and cabarets. Top sporting events are also possible, albeit without an audience.
Meetings are also permitted “for absolutely necessary vocational training and further education purposes, to fulfill necessary integration measures and for final professional examinations”, provided that this is not possible digitally.
Criticism from NEOs, resistance from FPÖ
When the lockdown was announced, NEOS already criticized the fact that it now appears as an “ultima ratio” to protect the health system and shows “the hesitation and hesitation” of the government. The FPÖ has already announced that it will take action against the mandatory vaccination, which was also announced on Friday.
The SPÖ also criticized the government’s approach on Sunday, but for them this nationwide lockdown is “unfortunately necessary to prevent death and save human lives. Let’s not forget one thing: it can happen to any of us at any time, ”said SPÖ chairman Pamela Rendi-Wagner.