In Austria, the number of corona infections is rising rapidly. That is why the Austrian government announced new measures this evening.
cold and empty
Austrians want the 2020/2021 winter sports season to be forgotten as soon as possible. It was cold and empty on the slopes and in the cafes and restaurants. The Tyrolean economy, among other things, was hit hard, and unemployment rates rose. And the 2019/2020 season ended dramatically, of course, when Isghl and other ski resorts turned out to be huge hotbeds of infection.
This should be very different this time. “The highest goal should be to continue the upcoming winter sports season,” Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Kostinger said, after emergency consultations at the popular ski resort of Leogang.
Vaccination rate is low
But despite those vaccinations, more corona infections are being reported day by day. This is also because only 64 percent of Austrians have been vaccinated (Netherlands: 84%). Therefore, stricter measures are being taken in Austria. They lead the way in the capital, Vienna. Measures were announced on Thursday that mainly affect non-vaccinated people.
In Vienna, non-vaccinated people are no longer allowed to go to hotels, cafes, restaurants and events of more than 25 people. Not even with corona test. Only people who have been vaccinated or recovered are allowed in.
A day later, it looks like the rest of Austria will follow Vienna’s lead. It would be a kind of recreational shutdown for the unvaccinated across the country. Unvaccinated people are still allowed to come to work, but only with a test certificate. The measures will take effect on Monday.
The new measures come in response to the number of Corona patients in intensive care in hospitals. According to the latest figures, 356 Austrians are in intensive care and that number is expected to rise rapidly.
If it exceeds 400, the third phase of the Corona plan in Austria will enter into force. But the government is skipping that stage and moving directly to the fourth level of the plan, because it is already inevitable that more than 500 IC beds will be needed.
Not on long slides
This also means for unvaccinated winter sports enthusiasts: Skiing or snowboarding is prohibited this season. Because if you can’t prove that you’ve been vaccinated or cured, according to the Austrian government, you don’t have work in ski resorts. Hotels and ski lifts are still closed and there is of course no question of après-ski. Because no negative test gives access to après-ski huts, bars and restaurants.
The new measures, of course, are primarily aimed at protecting health care. But they should also help prevent another shutdown. Because this means that the upcoming winter sports season will still fall into the water.
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