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150 Vienna bars open in protest of Austria’s coronavirus lockdown

The Local Austria
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150 Vienna bars open in protest of Austria’s coronavirus lockdown
Various bottles of alcohol are seen at a bar in Vienna. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN

Around 150 bars and restaurants across Vienna will open their doors on Monday to protest the country’s ongoing coronavirus lockdown - but no customers will be served.

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The bar and restaurant owners hope that the protest will raise awareness of their precarious situation.

There are around 9,000 bars or restaurants in Vienna. 

As part of the protest, the owners are planning to light candles and place them centrally in the windows of their venues. 

They will not serve any customers or allow people to enter the venues. 

As reported by ORF, they demand the permission to open immediately, subject to safety precautions and hygiene rules. 

Peter Dobcak, a spokesperson for Vienna’s catering and hospitality organisation, told Radio Vienna that between 20 and 30 percent of restaurants and bars are at risk of closure. 

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Dobcak said the money provided by the Austrian government is insufficient to cover the true losses of those in the hospitality industry - and that only reopening would ensure the success of those in the industry. 

"In reality, that's still too little to cover everything - a lot of reserves are really being used up here and livelihoods are at risk," he said. 

"Now is the time to make the framework conditions easier for entrepreneurs and to shape them in such a way that businesses can be reopened and managed accordingly to make a profit”. 

 

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