‘Nothing worse than being hasty’: Vienna considers lockdown extension beyond mid-May

‘Nothing worse than being hasty’: Vienna considers lockdown extension beyond mid-May
A closed boat rental centre in Vienna. Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP
Vienna will decide on Tuesday whether to extend its strict lockdown measures, with Mayor Ludwig indicating there is a chance that the rest of the country may open without it.

Please note: Vienna decided to end its lockdown on May 3rd. Click here for more information. 

While Austria will relax most lockdown measures from mid-May, the situation in the capital is far from certain. 

A decision on whether the lockdown will be extended will be made on Tuesday. 

Vienna’s current strict lockdown is set to expire on May 2nd. The strict lockdown was originally put in place just for the Easter break – from April 1st to April 7th – but then has been extended several times. 

While authorities in Lower Austria – the only other state to have a strict lockdown in place including 24-hour stay at home orders – have indicated they will not extend it beyond May 2nd, the conclusion in Vienna is all but certain. 

READ MORE: Austria to relax most coronavirus measures on May 19th

Not only could Vienna decide to keep in place its strict lockdown further into the Spring, but its participation in the nationwide relaxation of measures on May 19th is all but certain, Austrian newspaper Die Presse reports. 

A spokesman for the Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) confirmed this on Sunday in response to a APA request from the APA news agency, saying the city state wanted to avoid “hasty” opening steps. 

“I am in favour of openings. However, for openings that are gradual, sustainable and intelligent” Ludwig said. 

“Nothing would be worse than opening steps too hastily.”

Ludwig said he was reluctant to relax all measures at the same time, as is the plan as outlined by the federal government. 

Why could Vienna stay locked down longer?

Of concern is stubborn infection rates and high occupancy of hospital and ICU beds. 

Mayor Ludwig told APA that although the situation was slightly better in Vienna’s hospitals “(they are) unfortunately not yet where I would like them to be”.

“May 19th is however a long way off” Ludwig said. 

Austria wide, the seven day incidence, or number of coronavirus infections per 100,000 people is is 182. 

Vorarlberg currently has the highest incidence (240.2), followed by Vienna (214.0). The value is lowest in Burgenland (99.9) and Lower Austria (126.3), according to broadcaster ORF.


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