Before Christmas the Austrian government had announced plans that citizens should be able to get tested on the weekend before Jan 18 and, if negative, be allowed to go to shops and restaurants again. For those people the planned lockdown would then end a week early.
Up until the very end, the government failed to answer some legal and logistical questions, though, and so the plan was blocked by the opposition in parliament on Sunday. It probably also didn’t help that the idea was circulating that a person with a negative test should be able to go to a restaurant within 7 days of the test, while many medical experts say that such a test is only relevant for the same day. And let’s ignore for now, that the case-numbers aren’t really going down anyway 🧐
I guess the government wanted to have an incentive for people to go to these mass testings in order to find hidden infections after the last mass testing wasn’t attended too well. Don’t get me wrong: I have been tested multiple times already and having such a snapshot is probably useful and finding people who were infected but didn’t know about it is even more so. But playing around with regulations that may or may not be constitutional just to get people to go there and thereby leading to more confusion throughout the country seems like a bad idea to me.
This now means that everyone in Austria will have to stay locked down until Jan 24. Let’s just hope that not too many shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions didn’t plan too hard for Jan 18 😞 I guess not everyone can own a ski resort and get special treatment by the government. I hope that the local fountain pen store survives this!