It’s a big breath of fresh air, even a resurrection, which comes just in time after Easter: this Tuesday, April 14, in Austria, reopen the public gardens, DIY and gardening stores, as well as 15,000 small shops.
As in France, the return to normality will be very gradual, but thehe main milestones have been set since Monday April 6: May 1, opening of all other stores including hairdressers – this is important. Mid-May will be followed by hotels, restaurants and schools.
– Inter Courier (@courrierinter) April 6, 2020
For ten days in Austria, the number of new contaminations has been decreasing. The country counts 350 dead “only” for almost 9 million inhabitants, this is seven times less than in France. Hospitals are not overcrowded – they even admit patients from other countries. The government therefore believes that it is time to ease the drastic protection measures that put the country at a very early age.
As of March 10, Austria, which had no deaths, closed its border with Italy. It is the first country in Europe to take this decision. Emmanuel Macron then speaks of “disproportionate” measure; the European Commission explains that closing the borders is contrary to the need of the moment, which is to demonstrate “true European solidarity”.
Our goal: to get out of the crisis faster than others.
Sebastian Kurz, Austrian Chancellor
But Vienna only listens to itself, suspends its air links, closes its shops and confines its population four days before France. Today, Chancellor Kurz, 33, is jubilant to have “reacted more quickly and with more restrictive measures than other countries.“
This loosening of the rules intended to revive the economy is accompanied by even stronger health obligations. Until the end of April, travel remains very limited: you can only go out for shopping or an outdoor activity. In stores, it's one person for up to 20 square meters. And air travel will remain very tight.
But above all lAustria – which goes without consultation with its European partners – made the bet to massively test its population (nearly 150,000 to date) and to generalize the wearing of the mask: mandatory for two weeks already in supermarkets, it is from today on public transport, under penalty of fine (50 euros).
LSocial Democratic opposition considers this deconfinement “premature” and risky. But Sebastien Kurz, who asks his fellow citizens to continue their manifest efforts of “discipline” and civic behavior, warned: at the first alert, back to square one. Austria could “put your foot on the brake ” at any time, if the coronavirus epidemic resumes. Young Conservative Chancellor's Hands Free : its popularity rating reaches new heights, with almost 75% favorable opinion.