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Austrian Government Meets Today to Decide on Whether to Extend or Ease Lockdown

An announcement is expected this afternoon with the current restrictions due to end on February 7th. It is likely there will be some easing of measures, but lockdown will stay & most restrictions in ski resorts will remain. NEW

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Austrian media reports that most measures are likely to be extended, but that some will be loosened.

The country has seen its cases of Covid-19 fall under the current measures.

It was recording more than 5,000 new daily cases in November and December, but the number has now fallen to below 2,000.

It has confirmed cases of 105 per 100,000 over a 7-day period and this is the lowest of the major alpine ski nations.

It is 177 in France, 145 in Italy and 142 in Switzerland.

In the UK the figure stands at 301.

Austria has a target of 50 cases per 100,000, so it remains well above that.

Some in Austria are pressing for the reopening of school and shops, while others want the measures in place to continue to limit the spread of the virus.

Ski resorts remain open but they are for locals only and hotels, restaurants/bars and many other facilities remain closed.

It appears this situation will continue.

In St Anton in the Tirol there has been a recent crackdown on foreigners who have broken the rules and continue to flout restrictions.

There have also been outbreaks of Covid-19 on ski instructor training courses.

The governor of the Tirol, Günther Platter, is pushing for a cautious re-openings of schools and some non-essential shops.

Vienna’s governor, Michael Ludwig, said he was hoping for a gradual relaxation of measures “especially for kindergartens and schools, but also for parts of the trade”.

Representatives from each Austrian state along with federal officials are currently meeting to discuss the situation.

The state virologist, Dorothee Von Laer, said there was no “black and white” decision made yet on extending the lockdown, but promised the government would develop a “well-balanced plan”.

The hard lockdown on ‘non-essential’ retailers is expected to be relaxed, with smaller shops selling clothes and gifts again allowed to reopen.

FFP2 masks will be required in all shops.

Austria’s order to stay at home except for prescribed activities is likely to remain in force.

Hairdressers, tattoo parlours and massage services may be allowed to open according to speculation.

Museums and art galleries may also be again allowed to open.

For the ski resorts it appears that hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes will remain closed.

Austria’s quarantine requirement for international arrivals looks set to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Here at PlanetSKI we are monitoring the talks and will update as soon as an announcement is made.

Austria/Italy border

Image © PlanetSKI

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