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Austria to let museums, some cultural spaces reopen from mid-May

Austria to let museums, some cultural spaces reopen from mid-May

Austrian museums and some other cultural spaces will be allowed to reopen from mid-May as part of the step-by-step loosening of its coronavirus lockdown, Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler said on Friday. A specific date has not yet been set, Kogler told reporters, adding that large events involving many people close together, such as festivals, would remain banned until August 31.

On Tuesday, the Alpine republic started loosening its lockdown, letting DIY stores, garden centers and smaller shops reopen. Larger shops and hairdressers are due to follow from May 1.

The country will be on the lookout for any acceleration in infections and will delay its step-by-step loosening of its lockdown if necessary. Some lingering hotspots of infection are kept under quarantine, including the ski resorts of Ischgl, St Anton am Arlberg and Soelden, Reuters reported.

Austria also plans to test every retirement home resident as it expands efforts to measure the pandemic’s spread, its health minister said on Thursday.