Corona | Austria

Austria abolishes quarantine

End of Corona quarantine in Austria - also because of social consequences.
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End of Corona quarantine in Austria - also because of social consequences.

In the midst of the summer Corona wave, Austria is abolishing quarantine for infected people. "We are now making traffic restrictions instead of mandatory quarantine," Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) said in Vienna. The relaxation in principle will apply from August 1, he said. Infected people would also now be allowed to continue traveling, but with FFP2 masks.

"Those who are ill should stay at home," Rauch appealed to the public. Rauch said that the decision was made with a view to the psychological and social consequences of the Corona crisis. Worldwide, anxiety and depression have increased, he said. "We are simply entering a new phase of pandemic control well prepared."

"We cannot test the pandemic away, we cannot vaccinate it away and we cannot sequester it away," it said. Mandatory reporting remains in place to keep track of disease incidence, he added. In the fall, with the gas crisis, inflation and the war in Ukraine, a difficult situation looms for the population anyway, Rauch told the "Tiroler Tageszeitung". "I am the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, so in the meantime the social question and the question of social dislocation concerns me at least as intensively as the Corona crisis," Rauch told the newspaper.

International role models

Rauch pointed to international models such as Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, Spain and Switzerland. There, he said, the quarantine had been abolished for months in some cases without major consequences. Clearly as never before, the government also questioned the validity of the number of covid patients in hospitals. A precise analysis shows that only about half of the corresponding patients have covid as their main diagnosis, said Katharina Reich, an expert at the Ministry of Health.

The traffic restrictions include a ban on entering infected visitors in hospitals as well as in care, disabled and spa facilities. According to the draft available to the news agency APA, however, infected employees may continue to do their jobs in these places while wearing masks. In the open air and with a minimum distance of two meters the mask obligation is void.

Limited until October

For the protection of particularly endangered people, the risk group regulation will be temporarily reinstated until October, as Labor Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP) said. This will allow employees to be exempted who are at risk of severe courses despite vaccination or who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

At around 900 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week, the seven-day incidence in Austria is higher than the German figure. Compared to the summer of the previous year, considerably more patients currently have to be cared for in hospitals.