Reports state that thousands of shops across Austria have reopened on Tuesday 14 April.
Austria is one of the first countries in Europe to loosen its coronavirus lockdown. The European country, which borders Germany and Italy, was one of the first to have acted early in its outbreak, closing schools, bars, theatres, restaurants, non-essential shops and other gathering places roughly four weeks ago. Swiftly implementing stay and work from home communications.
It has performed relatively well thus far in terms of mortality rates, reporting 368 deaths in total, less than some larger European countries.
Austria’s daily increase in confirmed cases is reportedly in the low single digits in percentage terms and hospitalisations have also stabilised.
Last week, Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz reportedly outlined a step-by-step plan to reopen parts of the economy. This would start with shops of up to 400 square metres, as well as all home-improvement and garden centres.
According to reports, as of 1 May, these are due to be followed by shopping centres, larger shops and hairdressers. Restaurants and hotels could reopen in stages as of mid-May, Kurz said.
Customers must wear masks and observe strict distancing rules, with only one person for every 20 sq metres (215 sq ft) of retail space.
“I am simply 100% certain that we did the right thing and are doing the right thing,” Kurz said in an interview published on Saturday.
He continued, saying, “We are now taking the first steps back to a new normality, but the crisis is far from over.”