A wide range of businesses reopened to the public in Austria Monday, one day after authorities ended recent national lockdown restrictions to battle the latest surge of COVID-19 infections. The lockdown had been imposed last month.
Under the revised rules, however, unvaccinated people will still be restricted from leaving their homes except for work or essential business, such as grocery shopping or doctors’ visits.
As of Sunday, theaters, museums and holiday markets were allowed to reopen, although some regions chose to stagger their reopening. Vienna, for example, will let cafes and restaurants fully reopen next week.
In all cases, there will be an 11 p.m. curfew for restaurants, and masks will still be required on public transportation and inside stores and public spaces.
Austria’s Health Ministry says the lockdown appears to have worked. As of Monday, officials cited 332 cases per 100,000 residents, down significantly from 1,102 per 100,000 people when the lockdown began. Officials said, however, that hospitalizations remain high, having dropped only slightly in recent weeks.
The nation is planning to implement a vaccine mandate in February. In Vienna Saturday, thousands protested the plan, as well as other COVID-19 restrictions.
Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.
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