In Austria exit restrictions come into force – the exponentially growing numbers of infections make the new lockdown necessary, argued Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) on Saturday. The federal government has presented the most important key points.
DER STANDARD newspaper answers the most important questions about lockdown, which are constantly being expanded:
How long do the new measures apply?
The entire regulation ends on November 30th, after which it will be gradually relaxed. The exit restrictions are an exception: They may only apply for ten days, but afterwards they can be extended again for ten days if the infection situation so requires.
Is there a certain number of infections that will end the lockdown?
The government did not name one. Lawyers emphasize, however, that such tough measures are only justified and legally possible if they actually contain the infection process and if no more lenient measures take effect.
And is there a certain number of infections that exacerbates it again?
That was not said either. But so far it has been said that with 6,000 new infections per day, the risk of the intensive care bed capacities being overloaded would be too great. That just made the lockdown necessary.
Can my partner stay with me?
Yes, a life partner with whom you do not live together falls under basic human needs. That means you can still visit them after 8 p.m. The same also applies to the family, although it does not define how close the intended family circle is.
How do you have to prove that you have to go out between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.?
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) emphasized that you do not have to be able to provide evidence of why you are outside at night. You just have to convince the police officer that you have a valid reason for doing so.
During controls, police officers should decide whether the truth has been told – for example, that you have come from work.
On what basis should these decisions be made?
This question is as old as police controls themselves. And the answer is an unsatisfactory one: it remains an individual decision. But one thing is clear: if the officer has reason to believe that you are lying and violating the measures, he or she can report the matter. On the other hand, he or she would act disproportionately if evidence is required even though one has a plausible answer.
Can I have visitors at home?
This is possible because the private living area is not regulated. For precautionary reasons, people who do not live in the same household should comply with the hygiene and distance rules in the current situation. It is recommended to keep the number of people as low as possible, also in the private sector. The federal government appeals to personal responsibility and common sense. In any case, according to the government, visiting friends is not a valid reason to leave your private living area between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Can I meet friends in public?
According to the government, a maximum of 6 people from two different households plus their underage children are allowed to meet in public spaces.
Can the police come to my apartment and check whether measures are being followed?
Private living areas are excluded from this regulation.
Do I have to keep my distance in public if I have a private relationship?
The ordinance stipulates that people who only live in the same household for a time are treated on an equal footing with those who live in the same household. In addition, the distance requirement does not apply between a maximum of 6 people from a maximum of 2 different households.
Are private celebrations indoor / outdoor allowed?
According to the government, private celebrations in public spaces are not allowed. The event restrictions do not include private living areas, but not locations that do not serve to satisfy an immediate need for living, such as garages, gardens, sheds or barns in particular.
Can you always meet with a different household – or do you nominate one for the whole of November?
So far, neither in the regulation nor at the press conference was there any mention of having to choose a specific household. So it can be assumed that you can hit several households – just not all at once.
So can I go out anytime? Do I need a certificate to prove my mental distress?
According to the FAQs of the Ministry of Health, all activities that serve to maintain basic services fall under the permissible requirement of covering the necessary basic needs of daily life. This includes not only the supply of basic goods of daily life, but also the coverage of a need for housing (e.g. at a second home), contact with partners who do not live in the same household, the satisfaction of basic religious needs (such as visits to cemeteries, individual visits to churches and places of worship) , the basic care of animals and all – even not acute – visits to the doctor.
Can I drink a beer on the Danube Canal if I need it psychologically?
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said that the police will report people who are in public spaces such as parks after 8 p.m. and drink alcohol, for example. Bar operators who continue to serve would be displayed. “Anyone who is caught in the park with friends and a beer at night will be reported,” says Nehammer. If you break the night curfew, you can expect fines of up to 1,450 euros. According to Nehammer, the consistent controls by the police are carried out on the basis of the so-called “3D strategy” – de-escalation, dialogue, crackdown.
Can I still go to a restaurant or a bar?
Consumption on site is no longer allowed. It is only allowed to pick up food and drinks between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. A distance of at least one meter must be maintained towards people who do not live in the same household and mouth and nose protection must be worn.
Can I order a pizza and pick it up myself?
Order yes, collection is permitted between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. The delivery service is also possible beyond this. A restaurant can therefore also be open after 8 p.m.
What about events? What is allowed, what is not?
Events include, in particular, planned get-togethers and activities for entertainment, amusement, physical and mental training and edification. In any case, this includes cultural events, sporting events, wedding celebrations, film screenings, trips with coaches or excursion boats for tourist purposes, exhibitions, congresses, specialist and public fairs and occasional markets.
What can still take place:
Sporting events in top-class sport,
professional meetings, if these are absolutely necessary for the continuation of the professional activities, the private living area, with the exception of places that do not serve to satisfy an immediate need for living, such as in particular garages, gardens, sheds or barns,
Assemblies according to the assembly law; these are permitted under the conditions of the aforementioned federal law, with the proviso that participants must wear a close-fitting mechanical protective device covering the mouth and nose area,
Meetings of organs of political parties,
Meetings of statutory bodies of legal persons that cannot be postponed, provided that they cannot be held in digital form,
Meetings under the Labor Constitution Act, and
Meetings of no more than six people, although they may only come from two different households, plus their underage children or minors who are subject to supervision, but no more than six minors in total.
Funerals (maximum 50 people) – rehearsals and artistic performances without an audience (with COVID-19 prevention concept)
What are the rules for kindergartens, schools and universities?
Kindergartens and lower grades remain open. The obligation to protect the mouth and nose is being expanded for 10 to 14 year-olds. The upper level and universities are operated in distance learning.