Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced that his government will begin easing the lockdown on April 14th and slowly allow businesses to start operating with several restrictions still in place.
The Austrian leader said that the measures would be gradually lifted, but noted: “It is a timetable with a built-in emergency brake that comes into force immediately when the numbers rise again.”
Businesses across the country will be allowed to reopen as long as they have at least 400 square metres of retail space and allow only one customer per 20 square metres. They must also enforce control over those entering their shops as well as make sure all staff and customers wear masks covering their mouths and noses.
Previously, the Austrian government enacted measures to make it mandatory for members of the public to wear medical masks to enter supermarkets.
Hardware shops and shopping centres will also be allowed to open on the 14th under the same restrictions, according to tabloid Kronen Zeitung. Still, businesses such as barbers and hairdressers will not be allowed to open until May 1st.
Austria Declares Wearing Masks Mandatory in Supermarkets https://t.co/HUSXQd8xGE
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Sections of the tourism sector, which has been hit hardest by the Wuhan coronavirus, such as restaurants and hotels will remain closed until the middle of May along with schools, sporting facilities, and gyms.
All public events will still be forbidden until the end of June, with the government saying that they will have a clearer idea for whether summer events will take place by the end of April.
Austria is not the only country looking to ease strict lockdown measures. Denmark has also expressed a desire to see people get back to work in various industries under certain conditions.
Countries hit harder by the Chinese virus, such as France and Italy, remain under lockdown with French President Emmanuel Macron extending the initial 15-day lockdown measures until April 15th.