Austria | Corona

Austria controls compliance in gastronomy

Austrian police controls whether Corona rules are observed.
Austrian police controls whether Corona rules are observed.

In Austria, police officers are to check compliance with Corona controls in retail outlets, restaurants and popular tourist attractions with immediate effect. "We will further increase the control pressure," announced Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP).

The so-called Aktion Scharf is directed against those who do not comply with the regulations, it says. This applies to businesses that do not take the obligation to check seriously, as well as to unvaccinated people who are only allowed to enter stores for daily needs.

A lockdown for the unvaccinated has been in effect in Austria since mid-November. In 1.6 million checks since then, more than 12,000 violations have been detected, Karner said. Every police action - be it traffic control or intervening in a criminal offense - is used to check Covid regulations, he said. At the border, 5,100 people were denied entry, he said.

Video tutorials should help retailers deal with aggressive customers, a spokesman for the Federal Criminal Police Office said. A spokeswoman for the trade association said they were glad that the tightening measures had prevented another lockdown. In addition, she said, checks are allowed to take place at the checkout and do not have to happen at the entrance. This is important for small and medium-sized businesses, he said. A Corona vaccination requirement is scheduled to take effect in Austria in February.

Meanwhile, the fifth wave of Corona, marked by the Omikron variant, is also picking up steam there. On Monday, nearly 11,000 new infections were counted within 24 hours, which is equivalent to about 100,000 cases in Germany, taking into account the size of the population.