Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig said on Thursday that the state was taking a risk in reopening, but was doing so with full confidence in its testing regime.
“On May 19th, we will reopen the cultural institutions in Vienna that are particularly close to my heart and also reopen the sports facilities in accordance with federal guidelines, as well as the hotel and catering trade,” Ludwig said.
Ludwig urged Viennese to proceed with caution, but said the city-state had adopted the “gold standard” in testing in order to identify and isolate the spread of the virus.
In addition to restaurants, hotels, sports facilities and cultural establishments opening up again on May 19th, face-to-face lessons will also start up again at schools in Vienna on May 17th.
Ludwig had previously questioned the plan, saying he wanted to find some “middle ground” between the nationwide plan and his desire to open up more slowly.
“So it will certainly be a middle ground, combining the desire to open up with responsibility for the safety and health of the population,” said Ludwig.
“We want to take these steps carefully, intelligently and sustainably.”
The decision will ensure that Vienna – Austria’s most populous state – will relax coronavirus measures at the same time as the rest of the country on May 19th.
Vorarlberg, where infection rates have been much lower, is the only state to have already relaxed some measures, having done so in mid-March.