Austria could announce the lifting of isolation and quarantine requirements in Covid-19 cases as the federal government and state representatives meet on Monday to debate pandemic measures.
A draft regulation has circulated in Austrian media, which would institute a so-called “traffic restriction” for those that test positive for coronavirus. Instead of self-isolating for at least five days, infected persons would be allowed outside their homes on certain occasions and with a few restrictions.
One possibility is that infected persons would be allowed to go to work and essential stores, but not nursing homes and hospitals, for example.
And that they would need to wear FFP2 masks.
Die Krux bei vorab „Enthülltem“: Noch ist nix fix.Wir erarbeiten mehrere Optionen. Ja, es gibt seit 1.7. eine Verordnungsermächtigung, um d. Absonderung bei Bedarf durch Verkehrsbeschränkung zu ersetzen, das ist bekannt. Dazu haben wir auch einen Verordnungsentwurf erarbeitet.1/4
— Johannes Rauch (@johannes_rauch) July 21, 2022
Austrian Health Minister Johannes Rauch confirmed the existence of the draft regulation but said that “nothing is fixed yet”, and the government is working on several options.
SPÖ health spokesperson Philip Kucher said that the government had abandoned the pandemic management, calling a lifting of isolation requirements “irresponsible and dangerous” and demanding a proper pandemic response plan for the autumn.
“A quarantine end for infected people would be dangerous and could bring the health care system back to its limits. An irresponsible and dangerous game”, he wrote in a statement.
Austria’s federal government can set up the minimum requirements for the country, but individual states could impose stricter rules.
This means that even if the country announces an end of isolation for Covid-19 cases, single states could keep it – which is likely to happen at least in Vienna, where Mayor Michael Ludwig has criticised the opening steps taken by the federal government.
Austrian leaders are set to debate other pandemic measures, according to broadcaster ORF. The meeting will also include topics such as the nationwide distribution of Covid-19 drugs, as well as issues with storing health data.
After the meeting, Rauch will also meet with state health councils on Tuesday, and new measures are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Austria on Sunday recorded 6,965 new coronavirus cases after 81,456 PCR tests, according to the Health Ministry. There were 1,408 people in hospitals with Covid-19 (22 fewer than the day before) and 87 in intensive care units.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18,999 people have died from Covid-19. Only 60.3 percent of the population has a valid immunisation proof (a government-approved combination of vaccines and/or recovery status).