AUSTRIA has entered its third national lockdown on Boxing Day as many still celebrate Christmas.
Austrians will be confined by lockdown until January 24th, though those with negative Covid test results will be allowed to go out from January 18th. The new measures came into effect on Boxing Day, after thousands of Austrians took to some of the country’s 400 ski slopes that controversially reopened for Christmas.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a Christmas Day conference that the early months of 2021 would be challenging as the country enters its new wave of Coronavirus infections. He expressed his hope that normality could return by the summer, and stressed that mass testing and vaccinations were the answer to the spike in infections.
In early December Austria’s mass testing project largely failed. The government hoped that 60% of the population would receive tests, though only 14% of Vienna participated and just 20% of Salzburg residents. The decision to reopen ski slopes for Christmas was met with controversy when social media photos suggested that social distancing measures were not being widely practiced, despite the promises of resort owners.
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