Covid-19 in Austria: Hotels And Restaurants Closed Until Easter

Lifestyle & TravelFood & Drink ♦ Published: February 15, 2021; 17:45 ♦ (Vindobona)

After easing the latest lockdown for the retail sector and schools in Austria on February 8, the opening of restaurants and the cultural and tourism sector was heavily discussed. However, Austria's government has announced that hotels, restaurants, cultural establishments and recreational facilities will remain closed until further notice.

Austria's Chancellor Kurz (right) and Vice-Chancellor Kogler (left) agreed to keep hotels, restaurants and the cultural sector closed. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Dragan Tatic

After the opening of the retail sector and schools on February 8, Austria's government has now shut down any hopes for hotels, restaurants and the cultural sector to open in the near future.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz together with his government has decided to keep these particular industries closed until easter.

On March 1, the government will once again come together with experts to discuss possible opening steps.

For now, however, Kurz is delighted about the fact that the infection situation remains stable after opening the retail sector.

Nevertheless, the British virus mutation in eastern Austria, and the South African mutation in Tyrol remain a challenge.

He said that great caution is still required and that private contacts should be avoided unchanged.

"If not everyone is careful here, we will quickly be back to exponential growth," Kurz warned.

The government puts its money on massive testing capacities.

This week, the number of Covid-19 tests could rise to two million, more than in any other country.

Kurz pointed out that free "take home" tests will also be available in pharmacies starting March 1.

The government expressed optimism that the coming warmer season combined with rising vaccination coverage rates will improve the situation.

However, it said a seven-day incidence per 100,000 population of 50 is unrealistic.

The goal, therefore, is to keep infection rates stable.

But if they rise again quickly, Kurz said, it will be necessary to react.

Hotels and restaurants have been closed to contain Covid-19 since November 2, 2020. Cultural establishments and recreational facilities such as theaters and cinemas have also been closed since then.