In Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland, stricter coronavirus measures are to apply from April 1. Most of the rules lead to restrictions on the Easter weekend, so there will be exit restrictions around the clock. Some rules will apply beyond Easter.
For some of the new rules, legal changes still need to be initiated. A possible tightening of the measures, if they do not work sufficiently, was not ruled out by Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ).
The essential points
- Trade and service providers: From April 1st to 6th, retailers and service providers – with the exception of the basic service – will close. Museums and zoos are also closing again. From April 7th to 10th, entry tests should be mandatory in retail.
- Exit restrictions: From April 1st to April 6th, the curfews will apply all day like the last hard lockdown. The previous exceptions remain in effect.
- To meet: As part of the exit restrictions, there will also be restrictions on meetings – these are only permitted between several people in one household and a single person in another household. There were exceptions to the most recent lockdowns, for example to supervise minors.
- Mask requirement: From April 1st, the FFP2 mask requirement should apply in all closed rooms – except in your own living area and when you are alone in a room. The mask is also mandatory in heavily frequented places outdoors.
- Topic: In the future, at least one test per week should be compulsory in companies – the only alternative is to switch to the home office.
- School: After the Easter break, all students switch to distance learning. Shift work is not expected to take place again until April 11th. The “nose drill tests” are to be gradually replaced by PCR tests.
Also tightening of border controls
In addition, in view of the increasing numbers in the neighboring countries to the east, controls at the borders are also being tightened. Two tests per week should be compulsory for commuters. The Czech Republic and Hungary in particular were named when the measures were presented.
Church services under strict hygiene precautions
As for Easter itself, it was said from the dioceses of Eisenstadt, St. Pölten and Vienna that public services may only be celebrated under the strictest and most diligent prevention measures. Liturgies should be kept short and services should be held outdoors if possible.
Exceptions to the exit restrictions
As far as the exit restrictions are concerned, the usual exceptions apply – only all day. This means that you are only allowed to leave your own four walls for urgent reasons that cannot be postponed: driving to work, walks and individual sports, looking after people in need of support and averting dangers.
The new measures cover the period from April 1st to April 10th. An evaluation is being considered for new rules such as compulsory testing in retail. If the situation in the intensive care units does not improve, tightening is conceivable – at least in Vienna: If the measures do not result in a reduction in the numbers, Vienna’s Mayor Ludwig would “implement even more far-reaching measures”.