Austrian Government will lift lockdown measures from Friday, May 1

THE Austrian government will lift lockdown restrictions from Friday, May 1, among the first European countries to do so.

Officials will also allow gatherings of groups of up to 10 as the country eases restrictions imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The country has been in confinement since mid-March, with the exception of leaving home for essential activities such as travelling to and from work, buying food or taking a walk.

But Health Minister, Rudolf Anschober, explained at a press conference that the daily levels of new Covid-19 infections was such that a government-imposed restriction of movement was no longer necessary.

Austrians will be ‘obliged’ to keep a distance of one metre from other people when out in public, wearing a mask, and the situation will be closely monitored.

According to the government, hotels and swimming pools will reopen at the end of May.

The number of hotel guests fell by 68 per cent in March to 1.3 million compared to the same month in 2019, according to official data.

Anschober said current infection rates are well below 1 per cent, making a slow reopening of the economy possible.

He said the rate has remained below 100 every day for the past week, but warned “we can press the stop button at any time,” should the evolution of Covid-19 change.

As of yesterday, Austria had recorded just over 15,350 infections and 569 deaths from Covid-19.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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