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28 Apr, 2020 08:05

No need to extend Covid-19 home quarantine: Austria to let people out from May 1 and allow gatherings soon

No need to extend Covid-19 home quarantine: Austria to let people out from May 1 and allow gatherings soon

Austrians will soon be able to walk with no restrictions and gather in groups of 10, as coronavirus measures will be gradually lifted starting next month.

The easing of the self-isolation measures was announced by Health Minister Rudolf Anschober, who said that the spread of the novel coronavirus remains quite slow and the forecast for the upcoming month looks “very good.” He also said that the nation has coped with the epidemic “very well,” all thanks to the population, which “made it possible.”

The minister then said that going out will be permitted again starting from May 1, although a “minimal distance” of one meter between people in public spaces should still be observed. Interior Minister Karl Nehammer also announced that public gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed in the near future. However, the new limit will not be applied for demonstrations, he noted.

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The new rules will stay in place until at least the end of June, the government said, adding that the “opening up” could be halted at any time if the situation worsens again.

Meanwhile, Austrians can already plan some holiday trips – though only within the nation’s borders – after Tourism Minister Elisabeth Koestinger said that hotels across the Alpine nation will be allowed to open on May 29, together with zoos and swimming pools.

The government had already announced that small shops, as well as hairdressers and podiatrists, could reopen from May 1, while restaurants and schools are scheduled to resume their work on May 15.

Austria has demonstrated some of the best results in Europe in its handling of the pandemic. The country saw some 15,200 confirmed cases in a population of roughly 8.8 million. Just over 2,200 people are still ill, while the number of new infections continues to fall and amounted to just 46 over the last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.

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