Shops in Austria forced to close from 7pm

Austria has announced a new stricter shutdown measure to apply from Wednesday, with shops to be forced to close from 7pm daily.

Shops in Austria forced to close from 7pm

The measure was confirmed by the Ministry of Social Affairs, reported Austria’s Der Standard newspaper early on Tuesday. 

The measure will apply from Wednesday, November 11th, until November 22nd. 

This does not apply to petrol stations, ticket offices at train stations or to airports. 

READ MORE: Austria to re-enter 'hard lockdown' on Tuesday as Covid-19 cases soar 

“This restriction of the opening times is intended to ensure that purchases are made in good time before the start of the exit restriction, so that the ordinance's goal of the greatest possible reduction in mobility in the evening and night hours can be taken into account as best as possible,” the ministry said in a broadcast.

“The aim of this regulation is therefore to support compliance with the exit restrictions and thus to achieve a further reduction in all unnecessary social contacts.”

The tightening of the opening hours comes one week after Austria put in place sweeping new shutdown measures to curb the spread of coronavirus. 

READ: Everything you need to know about Austria's coronavirus shutdown 

The centrepiece of the shutdown – a nightly curfew from 8pm to 6am – will remain in force from the same times. 

Under the previous rules, shops were allowed to remain open to 8pm. 

More than 5,000 cases recorded again

New coronavirus case numbers continue to remain high across Austria. 

On Monday, 5,593 new cases of coronavirus were recorded – more than 1,500 higher than the corresponding figure on the previous Monday. 

Austria has averaged more than 5,000 new cases per day over the past week. 

The most new cases were recorded in Upper Austria with 1,489. In second place was Lower Austria with 891 positive tests, followed by Vienna with 711 new infections and Styria with 706.

Tyrol followed with 561, Salzburg with 458 and Vorarlberg with 426. 188 new infections were reported from Burgenland and 163 from Carinthia.



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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.