Austria locked down again

Starting next Tuesday at 00:00 Austria will enter another lockdown. It is sometimes described as a “lockdown light” but it means that there’s going to be a partial curfew between 20:00 and 06:00 and that the whole gastronomy as well as museums, cinemas, theatres, sport institutions and pretty much everything else were people come together in a non-professional manner have to stay closed until the end of November. More or less only churches, temples and other religious gathering places are exempt from this rule.

The big difference to the first lockdown in spring is that this time shops will stay open! Honestly, given the rising numbers it was only a matter of time until something like that would happen again. The way our government is handling the communication of their measures is less than ideal, though. Up until a couple of days ago it was all “we are far away from anything that’d require a lockdown” and then we had basically a press conference that was there to announce another press conference …

There is also far less communication regarding the reasoning behind why certain areas have to be closed down while others don’t. Why must restaurants close down while schools can stay open? Why not leave the gastronomy open during the day so that they can at least get the lunch hours? As much as the government always says that everything is evidence- and science-based the final decisions IMO would benefit from more transparency. Weirdly enough, what made the new lockdown make sense in my head was a statement by Angela Merkel I heard during this week’s Sportschau regarding the situation in Germany where they for around 75% of all new infections simply don’t know anymore where they’re coming from. I’m pretty sure that we are not better in this regard and, so, having a broad lockdown is understandable. It just should be communicated better!

Kurz et al. really love their press-conferences but in my opinion some of that time might be better spent in a more open decision process. They are not developing a product where you need to keep everything under the lid for a competitive advantage!