As reported, the cabinet presented the new corona measures on Thursday. Think of the abolition of the mask requirement at events, the end of 2G and 3G and a longer period of validity of the Green Passport. The first reactions from the opposition parties have already been received. FPÖ and NEOS are not easing far enough, the SPÖ lacks a plan for the fall. Industry representatives are also not completely satisfied.
For example, the FPÖ and NEOS speak of an “Austrian special path”. According to the FPÖ, the pandemic is completely over, only Austria is still adhering to the measures. “The only logical consequence would have been a complete end to the mask requirement and a return to normalcy – including the abolition of the Green Passport, which is also no longer allowed,” FPÖ chief Herbert Kickl said in a broadcast. Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) “walks around with corona blinkers”.
Criticism of the Green Passport also comes from the NEOS, although they don’t want to abolish it altogether, but demand unlimited validity. “Because the health secretary has rightly said that the EMA has not yet issued a recommendation for the fourth stab for everyone. However, the fact that he is advising everyone to freshen up at the end of August in the next breath shows how little this government listens to experts. It is incomprehensible why the Green Passport is only valid for 12 months for people who have been vaccinated three times. As long as the EMA (European Medicines Agency, note) does not recommend a fourth vaccination, the expiration date must pass,” NEOS pandemic spokesman Gerald Loacker demanded.
“Learning to live with the virus”
According to him, you have to learn to live with the virus. This means, for example, that vaccination must be transferred to regular healthcare. Maintaining vaccination routes is far too expensive in the long term and is no longer proportionate. SPÖ health spokesman Philip Kucher, on the other hand, already warns of a possible wave in the autumn and is in favor of a higher vaccination coverage. “What is our plan for autumn? How is Austria preparing for the next wave?” he asked in a broadcast. The current vaccination campaign may not be good.
“Enough with ‘Vienna is different'”
The Austrian Association of Hoteliers (ÖHV) and the GPA trade union, among others, have made statements about the obligation to wear face masks. “With the ÖHV Congress from 2 to 4 May, the Austrian Hoteliers Association wants to encourage an actively optimistic approach: that means, for example, yes to the recommendation of indoor masks, as formulated by the federal government, and a clear no to excessive negative signals. Not More ‘Vienna is different’,” said ÖHV Secretary General Markus Gratzer. The tourism industry is “delighted” by the easing of the coronavirus, noting a “constant upward trend in guest bookings”.
Mask Requirement for Employees
The GPA union assesses the indoor mask requirement differently. “If customers continue to wear the mask, a high level of safety is guaranteed. The current number of infections certainly means that masks can also come to an end in the food trade,” said GPA union president Barbara Teiber. She is calling for an end to the mask requirement for workers across the industry. “The commercial employees supported all measures and often had to justify themselves for measures that they had not invented themselves. But if tens of thousands of people are now allowed to party without masks at concerts, then the masks for employees in the food trade must also come to an end.
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