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Explained: Can I invite people to my home under Austria’s new coronavirus rules?

On Monday, Austria announced a stricter set of measures to tackle coronavirus - including a cap on groups. Do these new rules restrict private parties?

Explained: Can I invite people to my home under Austria’s new coronavirus rules?
How many is too many to invite around? Photo by Yutacar on Unsplash

The Austrian government on Monday decided to implement a range of new measures, including making masks compulsory at all indoor and outdoor events and limiting groups. 

From midnight on Friday, October 23rd, masks will be compulsory in all indoor and outdoor events in Austria, Kurier reported on Monday. 

What you need to know about Austria's new lockdown measures 

The new restrictions were put in place at a meeting on Monday morning. 

A maximum of six people are allowed indoors without assigned seating, with the respective number outdoors raised to 12. 

Children do not count towards the tally. 

This is at all publicly-accessible gatherings – it includes public parks and fitness studios.

Can I invite people around – and if so how many?

In short, the maximum number is six. If you do invite more than six over, you will be breaching the limit – although you won't be getting in trouble with the police anytime soon. 

While the maximum number of people at private gatherings has been set at six, this is only a voluntary requirement.

Private gatherings have a 'voluntary' limit of six people – even in private homes. Kurz told the media on Monday that the requirement in private homes was not legally enforceable at this stage. 

“The legal regulation is very clear. Noise pollution is one reason that the police can take action, but the meeting alone cannot,” Kurz said. 

Police will not issue citations for breaching the limit in public homes, Kurz confirmed. 

Kurz appealed to the ‘common sense’ of Austrians in adhering to the measures. 

“It will be a challenging few months, but the more we stick together and the more each individual participates, the better we will get through this phase.”

 

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HEALTH

EXPLAINED: How to register for the monkeypox vaccine in Vienna

Austria's capital city Vienna has begun registration appointments for those who want to get a monkeypox vaccine. Here's what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: How to register for the monkeypox vaccine in Vienna

As of September 9th, people can make reservations for monkeypox vaccination in Vienna, authorities announced. It is possible to register for the vaccine using the health service line by calling 1450 or via the Impfservice website.

The City of Vienna has said the pre-registration is needed because all planning will be done through a central system due to a shortage of vaccines.

“Please understand that due to the vaccine shortage, we cannot offer preventive monkeypox vaccination to everyone interested. We can use the reservation platform to quickly allocate available appointments and contact interested parties as soon as there are more vaccines”, the authorities said.

After the registration, people will be contacted to book appointments on September 14th. The first available date will be September 19th.

READ ALSO: Monkeypox in Austria: What causes it and is it serious?

Who should be vaccinated against monkeypox?

Vaccination of the general population is currently not recommended.

Preventive vaccination is only offered to health care workers with a very high risk of exposure to people with monkeypox (designated monkeypox departments/outpatient clinics/offices) and persons with individual risk behaviour (persons with frequently changing sexual contacts), the City of Vienna said.

The health authorities in Vienna also have a specific information sheet in English with more information on the disease.

Monkeypox is a notifiable disease caused by a virus closely related to the smallpox virus and which can cause a condition similar to smallpox but rarely deadly. People with immunodeficiencies, pregnant women and children are at risk of more severe symptoms.

The virus spreads from person to person through contact with infectious skin lesions, via air droplets through speaking, coughing, sneezing, or other body fluids, and when having prolonged and close physical contact, e.g. through sexual intercourse.

READ ALSO: Austria recommends 4th Covid vaccine dose for everyone over 12

Usually, the first symptoms show up 5 to 14 days (at the latest, 21 days) after exposure. These include fever, general exhaustion, headaches, muscle and body aches, gastrointestinal problems and frequently painfully swollen lymph nodes.

“If you have symptoms and have had contact with someone with monkeypox, you must self-isolate at once and call 1450. If you have a confirmed monkeypox infection, you need to stay in self-isolation until the last crust has fallen off”, the Austrian authorities added.

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