VIENNA – Health minister faces further criticism in re-drafting COVID-19 law

After Austria’s Constitutional Court ruled that previous coronavirus measures were illegal, the country’s Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) promised to rework the regulations and reorganise his ministry. The Austrian government is now preparing legislation in the event that the country has to go back into lockdown. This time around, Austria’s health ministry will have more extensive powers, which has garnered criticism from the opposition.

Specifically, the new legislation claims that entry into “1. certain places or 2. public places in their entirety can be regulated by decree, insofar as this is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

This comes after the Constitutional Court ruled that the first law was too far-reaching in its ban on entry into public spaces.

While Social Democrat (SPÖ) judicial speaker, Selma Yildirim, claims the governing coalition “did not learn much” from the ruling, Nikolaus Scherak, vice-president of the liberal NEOS parliamentary group, also claimed that this new draft was a reaffirmation of Anschober’s previous actions. (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)

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