Coronavirus in Austria: Vienna to start mass testing on Wednesday

Coronavirus in Austria: Vienna to start mass testing on Wednesday
Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP
Vienna will start its coronavirus mass testing program on Wednesday, December 2nd - several weeks earlier than the dates laid out by the federal government.

Health Councilor Peter Hacker (SPÖ) told APA late on Thursday that the capital will begin its mass tests earlier than the federal guidelines. 

The federal government announced that the plan would begin testing teachers on December 4th – but that the general public would not be tested until the weekend of the 19th and 20th of December. 

As it stands, each Austrian federal state has adopted a different set of dates when the testing regime will start. 

READ: When will mass coronavirus tests take place in my part of Austria? 

Vienna hopes to test 1.2 million people as part of the program. 

Where?

The testing will take place in three locations in the capital. 

The test centres will be set up at the Vienna Stadthalle (City Hall), Marxhalle in Landstrasse and at the exhibition hall near Prater. 

The tests will be conducted on a ‘walk in’ basis. 

In total, 300 ‘test lines’ will be set up – which means capacity will be 50 times larger than the current testing scheme, Hacker said. 

Each line can test up to 500 people per day – meaning 150,000 people can be tested per day at each site. 

‘Very ambitious’ 

Vienna had been critical of the federal government’s mass testing regime, arguing that targeted testing was more effective than blanket testing. 

Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (ÖVP) said she was surprised that Vienna had changed course, saying that starting on December 2nd was a “very ambitious” goal for the city. 

“We welcome the will of Vienna, but we do not yet know any details about the plans, only the key data spread in the media,” Tanner said

Tanner said she would have advised on a different path, but indicated her support for the capital as it began its testing regime. 

 


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