Austria in lockdown – Kurz expects a third wave

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has warned of a third corona wave and a large increase in the number of infections. The first quarter of 2021 will be an “extreme challenge” for Europe.

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz expects a third corona wave and a massive increase in the number of infections across Europe in the coming year. In the summer, a certain return to normality can be expected, said Kurz in an interview with ORF on Saturday.

“The first quarter of 2021 will certainly be an extreme challenge for Europe, the third wave will break in on us, and the number of infections will again increase massively in many European countries,” said Kurz. “After that, I assume that there will be steady relaxation due to the warmer temperatures, but also due to the steadily increasing number of those who are vaccinated. And I expect that we will be able to return to normal in large parts in summer . “

For Austria, his government tightened the corona restrictions on Christmas Day after a brief relaxation. Houses and apartments may only be left with good reason – but this also includes doing sports and going for a walk. The rules apply until January 17th.

Ski areas open to locals

Except for grocery stores, pharmacies and drug stores, shops will be closed for the next three weeks. Banks and bicycle workshops are also allowed to stay up, hairdressers are not. The permitted contacts with other households are severely restricted. When shops and cultural institutions reopen on January 18, visitors must first show a negative corona test in order to visit.

Numerous ski areas were open in Austria. But they can practically only be used by residents due to strict quarantine regulations for travelers or, for example, in Bavaria for returnees. At Semmering, around 100 kilometers southwest of Vienna, there was a crowd on tobogganing meadows on Christmas Day. Therefore, barriers were set up to limit the number of users, as the mayor said. The cable cars have reduced the number of guests that can be transported per gondola by half and tickets must be purchased online in advance.

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