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nedelja, 13 junija, 2021

Central European country to further ease restrictions

By: V4 Agency

The move comes after far more favourable epidemic figures than expected and as a result of progress achieved in vaccine rollout.

As of Thursday (10 June), Austria will further ease restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hungary’s state news agency (MTI) wrote, citing the announcement made by Austrian Health Minister Wolfgang Muckstein following the government meeting on Wednesday.

The decision came as a result of the far more favourable developments in epidemic figures than expected on the one hand, and the progress achieved in vaccine rollout on the other. In Austria, the daily number of new coronavirus infections has been permanently below five hundred for twelve days, and the number of those who received at least a first jab have exceeded four million.

The minister stressed that the so-called green (immunity) card will remain the primary bases for enabling the easing restrictions. Despite some delays, the digital version of the green card will also be available this week to certify that a person has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, has recently tested negative for the virus or has recovered from the infection. Certificates – whether in digital or paper format – will entitle holders to enter restaurants and hotels or attend cultural and sporting events, as well as offer more freedoms in various aspects of life.

Up to eight customers – instead of four according to previous rules – can be seated at a table inside restaurants, while a company of up to sixteen people can sit at a table on outdoor terraces and in gardens compared to ten customers previously.The mandatory distancing will be halved, allowing for table placement at one metre from each other, compared to the former two metres. Closing times were extended from 10pm to midnight.

For cultural and sports events, the regulations maximising the size of the audience at 1,500 indoors and 3,000  outdoors remains in effect, regardless of the size of the venue, but they are now permitted to seat up to 75 per cent of their capacity compared to the previous 50 per cent limitation. This is particularly beneficial for smaller cinemas and theatres.

Starting Thursday, shops, swimming pools and fitness centres can also welcome more customers and clients, as the compulsory space requirement per person is to change from 20 square metres to 10 square metres. Mask wearing remains mandatory indoors only, and for the time being only the FFP2 version to provide more effective protection.

In Austria, 366 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number since the beginning of the outbreak to 647,688. The number of people hospitalised is currently 376, of whom 124 in intensive care. Three people died of complications due to the coronavirus in the past day, putting the total death toll at 10,650, while 632,188 people have recovered from the disease.

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