Vienna proposes ‘weekend coronavirus lockdowns’

Vienna proposes 'weekend coronavirus lockdowns'
Vienna's streets during the coronavirus lockdown. Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP
Vienna’s latest idea to cut coronavirus transmission while allowing some parts of the country to open is “weekend lockdowns”. Under the plan, restaurants may be allowed to open during the week.

Vienna Health Minister Peter Hacker has put forward a plan to allow sections of the city-state’s economy to start to open again. 

Under the plan, shops, businesses and even restaurants would be allowed to open during the week until 8pm or 9pm at night. If the plan is successful, the opening hours could be extended until 1am. 

READ MORE: Austria issues travel warning for Tyrol due to coronavirus mutation 

Over the weekend however, a strict lockdown would again be imposed, including a stay at home order and the closure of all non-essential business. 

Hacker proposed the plan be introduced at the end of February or the start of March and would act as a “breakwater” to prevent rising numbers. 

“It is well known that it takes four days before infected people can infect others. The new model would act as a breakwater,” Hacker told Austria’s Kronen Zeitung newspaper

“A pandemic always moves in waves, it's not something that is constant. With the idea of ​​weekend lockdowns, we can impose our own rhythm on what is happening.

“This is not a radical model. We would not open everything.”

While during the week would look almost like the times before the pandemic, weekends would resemble the hard lockdown that was in place from December 2020 to early February. 

Hacker said at this stage he was unsure whether businesses would be allowed to open from Monday to Thursday or from Monday to Friday.  


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