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Austria tightens measures again after just two weeks

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Almost two weeks after the lifting of numerous protective measures against the coronavirus, Austria is once again tightening the reins in the face of a sharp increase in the number of infections.

From the middle of next week, FFP2 masks will have to be worn in public interiors again, as Health Minister Johannes Rauch announced on Friday night. The seven-day incidence in Austria was 3,600. For Germany, the Robert Koch Institute named an incidence of 1,735 on Saturday.

On March 6, Austria largely lifted its corona restrictions despite continued high incidence rates. The obligation to wear an FFP2 mask has been limited to hospitals, public transport and client areas of essential businesses, among others.

In the meantime, it has become clear that the easing came too soon, Rauch said, according to the APA. Also in the next two weeks, the number of corona infections is expected to exceed 50,000 per day.

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With more and more nursing staff becoming infected and staff shortages in hospitals and nursing facilities becoming more acute, quarantine rules need to be relaxed. Currently, anyone who tests positive for the corona virus must stay at home for five days and cannot leave the apartment or house. “The operation can only be sustained with difficulty,” Rauch said, according to the APA news agency.

According to Rauch, it is being considered whether employees of hospitals and other health establishments must work with a mask under certain conditions or whether the quarantine period should be shortened. The regulations will be drafted during the weekend. (dpa, afp)

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