VIENNA – Austria tightens measures restricting social life

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced new and stricter measures to combat the spread of coronavirus on Monday. In supermarkets, shoppers will be obliged to wear protective mouth-nose-masks (as opposed to medical-quality masks used by doctors) which will be distributed at the shops’ entrances by Wednesday at the latest. 

Also read: Austria imports workers from Bulgaria, Romania to plug gaps in COVID-19 care

Members of risk groups will be completely barred from working in offices, they either have to work from home or must temporarily be exempt from work. All hotels will be closed down for tourists. To get the first estimate of unregistered cases of corona-infections, the government will conduct 2,000 sample tests of randomly selected citizens.

In terms of rhetoric, Kurz made sure not to allow any room for doubt that the worst was yet to come, as he described the current situation as “the calm before the storm”, adding that “some probably cannot imagine what is to come”. When it comes to new measures, nothing more could be done besides the greater use of the internet and smartphones, he added(Philipp Grüll |

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