What am I allowed to do in Austria on New Year’s Eve?

What am I allowed to do in Austria on New Year's Eve?
Vienna on New Year's Eve. Things will not look this way in 2020. Photo: HANS PUNZ / APA / AFP
New Year’s Eve celebrations were initially an exception under Austria’s initial winter lockdown plan. That is no longer the case.

Under Austria’s initial winter lockdown plan, contact restrictions were set to be relaxed on three days: December 24th, 25th and 31st. 

The goal was to put in place strict restrictions on the surrounding days, but to allow people to celebrate in small groups of up to ten people over Christmas and New Year’s Eve. 

EXPLAINED: What are the rules of Austria's upcoming coronavirus lockdown? 

However, under a draft of the lockdown proposal which was presented on Monday, December 21st, there will be no such relaxation on the 31st of December. 

Now, the same strict rules which come into effect on December 26th will apply at the turning of the year. 

This means that a stay-at-home order will remain in force, with people only allowed to leave their homes for a limited set of reasons. 

UPDATED: When am I allowed to leave my home under Austria's coronavirus measures?

As reported in Der Standard, only one individual is allowed to visit members of another household (regardless of the number of people in the household) during the evening. 

Furthermore, the people visited must be “close family members” or “important contacts with whom contact is maintained several times a week”, rather than friends or acquaintances. 

This means that more than one member of one household is not allowed to meet several members of another household. 

Whether a person is defined as an “important contact” or not will depend on a case-by-case assessment, the government confirmed. 


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