Austria to enter third virus lockdown from December 26

By: AFP      Published: 10:48 PM, 18 Dec, 2020
Austria to enter third virus lockdown from December 26

Austria will enter its third coronavirus lockdown between December 26 and January 24, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced on Friday, as the country fights to bring down its infection rate.

But Kurz said those who take part in a planned series of mass testing programmes between January 15 and 17 will be allowed more freedom, such as visiting cultural events and restaurants.

For the first three weeks of the lockdown, non-essential stores will close as will services such as hairdressers where physical proximity is unavoidable.

However, from January 18, stores and restaurants will open again for those who have tested negative. 

Schools will start in-person lessons again on the same date.

Those who do not take part in the mass tests will have to wear FFP 2 masks where otherwise a simpler face covering would suffice, for example while at work or buying food.

Since Austria came out of its last lockdown earlier this month, the rate of new infections has mostly stayed between 2,000 and 3,000 per day but the government had said its aim was to get the daily rate under 1,000.