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Vienna extends lockdown

Vienna extends lockdown

The new lockdown will continue until 2 May but schools will open earlier

The current lockdown in Vienna will be extended until 2 May, rather than end it on Sunday, as had been previously provisioned. The schools, on the other hand, will reopen sooner, with distance learning continuing until 26 April, according to Mayor Michael Ludwig who spoke at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

Mayor Ludwig stated that the virus is affecting also young people and the overcrowding in intensive care units necessitated the new measures. According to him, it was important to "reduce the curve for hospital patients." Every day, two to five new patients are admitted to Vienna's intensive care unit. Currently, 245 Covid patients need intensive medical care in the city, which is a relatively high number.

The measures, such as the need to wear a mask in some public places, are still in effect. For the time being trade and services are closed and the form and conditions under which they will reopen in May are still being negotiated between the federal government and the states. Mayor Ludwig did not rule out the possibility of a catering industry reopening.

Schools will reopen on 26 April

Education Minister Faßmann agreed with the mayor that the schools would reopen on 26 April, and thus be the first institutions to do so. Officials are of the opinion that the educational gap could not be widened further. Tests are provided three times a week in elementary schools, and higher quality tests are now used for the most part.

On the other hand, there is widespread criticism that the indefinite lockdown is having a devastating economic and social effect on the Viennese. The lockdown extension could bankrupt many small businesses, putting tens of thousands of people out of work.

Even though the statistics showed that a stable plateau had been achieved, it is still too early to tell whether this would be a pattern. It is also difficult for hospitals to keep up with new cases.

Although a similar strict lockdown exists in the country's other eastern states, including Burgenland and Lower Austria, its expiration date of 18 April remains in effect for the time being.

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