VIENNA – ‘Things are now getting serious again,’ health minister warns

In a speech on the state of the coronavirus on Tuesday (1 September), Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) tried to strike both a serious and hopeful tone, warning about the months ahead while simultaneously holding out hope for a vaccine in January.

“The summer was a time of recharging our batteries and, yes, of carelessness. But now things are getting serious again,” said Anschober.

As the cooler weather and more people staying indoors in the coming months are expected to contribute to an increasing number of infections, Anschober repeated calls for wearing masks and social distancing. The minister also claimed that given the country’s high levels of infection, new contact restrictions will be announced on Wednesday (2 September).

However, he was optimistic about the possibility of a vaccine by January 2021, “if the promises of the vaccine producers are kept and approvals are granted in time.”

(Sarah Lawton |

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