Third Lockdown Starts on December 26

More+More+ ♦ Published: December 18, 2020; 22:55 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Austrian government has announced a third lockdown, starting on December 26 and lasting until at least January 18. Similar to the shutdowns before, all-day curfew will apply, stores and gastronomy will be closed, body-related services will not be open and distance learning will be implemented in the schools.

Interior Minister Nehammer (left), Chancellor Kurz (middle), Health Minister Anschober (right) and Vice-Chancellor Kogler have announced a third lockdown for Austria. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Andy Wenzel

After the Christmas celebrations on December 24 and December 25, Austria will once again return to a lockdown.

The Austrian government, in representation of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer and Health Minister Rudolf Anschober, announced the third lockdown in a press conference.

Although new Covid-19 cases were declining in the recent days, the government fears a substantial rise after the Christmas celebrations.

Considering the critical situations in the hospitals and the still high numbers of Covid-19 related deaths (over 100 per day), Kurz announced another shutdown lasting until January 18.

However, January 18 will be the date when restaurants, retail stores and most other public spaces will re-open for those people that have had themselves tested for Covid-19 during the newly announced mass tests conducted from January 15 to January 16.

The following measures were announced today:

  • From December 26 to January 24, all-day curfew restrictions apply again. Exceptional reasons: Work, satisfying basic needs, sports and helping other people.
  • Trade, gastronomy, body-related services and cultural institutions will be closed until January 17.
  • Distance learning in schools from January 7 to January 17, then back to face-to-face teaching. Care at schools for up to 14-year-olds will be offered from January 7 onwards.
  • Kindergartens remain open.
  • Ski lifts open from December 24 - FFP2 mask will be mandatory in the lifts.

The second round of mass testing will take place on the weekend before January 18 (January 15/16).

Those who get tested and show a negative result will be allowed to use the services that reopen on January 18. The curfew will then also be relaxed only for those people who can show a negative test.