21 Apr, 2020
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday that Austria would further loosen its Covid-19 lockdown on May 15 by allowing restaurants and cafes to reopen and religious services to resume. The Alpine republic acted early in its outbreak to close restaurants, bars, theaters, non-essential shops and other potential gathering places more than a month ago.
“We are going faster here than other countries towards something like a new normality,” Kurz told reporters, adding that “gastronomy businesses,” a term that often includes bars, will be allowed to reopen from May 15 and stay open until 11pm. Religious services can resume from the same day.
Austria allowed DIY stores, garden centers and shops of less than 400 square meters to reopen a week ago. Shopping centers, larger shops and hairdressers are due to follow from May 1.
Wearing a face mask will be part of the “new normality,” according to Kurz. The masks are already compulsory on public transport. Schools will reopen for pupils in lower years in an unspecified step-by-step process beginning on May 15