Covid-19 in Austria: Vienna Ends Lockdown

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: April 28, 2021; 17:05 ♦ (Vindobona)

Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig announced the end of the lockdown in Vienna for May 2. Starting next Monday, the retail sector as well as body-related services will reopen, while the FFP2-mask requirement in selected outdoor areas will also be suspended. Ludwig, however, wants to be cautious with regard to the Austrian-wide opening steps starting May 19.

Vienna's Vice-Mayor Christoph Wiederkehr and Mayor Michael Ludwig have announced the end of the lockdown in Vienna. / Picture: © Magistrat der Stadt Wien / Christian Jobst / PID

After opening schools this week, the city of Vienna takes the next step in rolling back Covid-19 protections next Monday.

With May 3, the retail sector and body-related services (hairdresser, massage, etc.) can then be used - provided entrance test. This was announced by Vienna's Mayor Michael Ludwig and Vice-Mayor Christoph Wiederkehr after consultation with experts from science, and the fields of medicine, care and statistics.

"My primary goal is the health of the Viennese," Ludwig said.

He added that the reason for introducing the protective measures and extending them until May 2 was and is the high utilization of hospitals with covid sufferers, especially in intensive care units.

"The situation is easing," Ludwig said, "but we are still above the critical level of 33 percent intensive care bed occupancy with Covid-19 patients."

Therefore, he said, further opening steps must be taken "very carefully, intelligently and prudently."

Vice Mayor Wiederkehr agreed:

"The opening has to be sustainable. We don't want to have to close again in June or July."

Accordingly, Ludwig was skeptical of the federal government's plans to reopen all social areas during the Pentecost week beginning May 19.

"I listen to the voices from science. All experts confirm that a serious forecast can only be made for the next ten days, but not further out," Ludwig said.

It would be wrong "to put people into an unwarranted euphoria now"; especially now, when adherence to protective measures is so important.

In general, Ludwig announced that, if necessary, the Viennese opening steps would be taken back again if the Covid-19 figures worsened again.

The FFP2-mask requirement in the selected outdoor areas in Vienna will also be dropped May 3.