Lockdown loosening in Austria: All eyes on Vorarlberg as restaurants open

Lockdown loosening in Austria: All eyes on Vorarlberg as restaurants open
Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP
The western Austrian state of Vorarlberg is set to open pubs and restaurants for outdoor - and indoor - dining from today. If it's successful, Austria will adopt the same plan.

From Monday, March 15th, the Austrian state of Vorarlberg is set to loosen some coronavirus measures in a pilot project. 

If the project is successful and infection rates remain low, it will be adopted to allow restaurants and events again across the rest of Austria. 

Restrictions will be lifted on restaurants, while events and children’s sport will again be allowed. 

The openings will be facilitated by comprehensive testing requirements. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

What measures will be relaxed? 

Events with up to 100 people will again be allowed. 

Indoor as well as outdoor dining will also be allowed. 

Events can also take place either indoors or outdoors, however rooms must be at half of their usual capacity. 

Sports for children and teenagers (up until the age of 18) will also again be allowed to take place, with clubs free to open from Monday. 

Can just anyone visit a restaurant or an event? 

People visiting restaurants will be required to show a recent negative test. 

This can be a PCR, an antigen test or a self-test. 

Evidence of a self-test will be allowed in digital form.

More than one million self tests have been ordered and will be distributed around the state by Monday. 

How fresh must the test be?

Antigen or self-tests made at a pharmacy or medical centre must have been made within the past 48 hours. 

PCR tests, as they are more accurate, can be up to 72 hours old. 

The ‘at home’ self tests are only valid for 24 hours. 

It will be the responsibility of the restaurant to ensure that each person has evidence of a negative test. 

What restrictions remain in place? 

The 8pm curfew will remain, meaning evening meals or events will not be possible, according to APA. 

A maximum of four people will be allowed to sit at a table in a restaurant if they are not from the same household. 

Weddings are expressly not allowed to take place. 

Other rules such as keeping two metres distance, wearing FFP2 masks, mandatory registration 

Why Vorarlberg? 

Vorarlberg has for a long period of time had the lowest infection rate in Austria.

On Monday, March 15th, the value is still lowest in Vorarlberg (67.5) of any Austrian state, followed by Tyrol (133.3).

According to the Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), the 7-day incidence or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants across the country is 209. 

The number is highest in Salzburg (265.8) and Vienna (259.5). 


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.