The Austrian federal government has announced that it will relax the COVID-19 restrictions as of 22 July.
However, given the rising infection figures, Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig announced that the City of Vienna is taking a consistent approach to protecting the Viennese population. Thus, Vienna remains with the mask requirement in shopping and retail, as well as with cultural events in the interior. Vienna was the first federal state to offer the free PCR test–the “gold standard” in COVID testing will continue, and the free vaccination offer will be expanded.
In his statement, Mayor Ludwig emphasized the “consistent continuation of the Viennese way,” which–contrary to the relaxations of the federal government–provides for the following guidelines: The masking requirement will continue to apply to Vienna for all purchases (food, clothing, etc.) as well as for cultural events in enclosed spaces. “Together, we must make every effort to keep the infection figures low. Too high numbers have an impact on Vienna as a business location and would thus also have a negative effect on employment figures,” Ludwig said.
As a pioneering service recognized throughout Europe, the PCR testing program “Alles Gurgelt” will be continued and remain free of charge. Regular testing means that cases can be detected early and isolated in good time. “In the meantime, many countries and cities at home and abroad are following our example,” says Ludwig.
Vienna is expanding the vaccination offer parallel to the testing continuation. This includes vaccination boxes without registration, such as at the Rathausplatz at the Film Festival, the “vaccination boat” on the Old Danube, and the free, appointment-free offer at the Austria Center Vienna.
Mayor Ludwig concluded, “The consistent continuation of protective measures in Vienna should lead us to a common goal: to manage the pandemic in Vienna in the best possible way.”