In the middle of the summer corona wave, Austria abolishes the quarantine for infected people. “We are now making traffic restrictions instead of mandatory quarantine,” said Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) on Tuesday in Vienna. The basic easing will apply from August 1st. Infected people should now also be on the move, but with an FFP2 mask.
“Anyone who is sick stays at home,” Rauch appealed to the citizens at the same time. The decision was made with a view to the psychological and social consequences of the Corona crisis, said Rauch. Anxiety and depression have increased worldwide. “We are simply well prepared for a new phase in the fight against the pandemic.”
“We cannot test the pandemic away, vaccinate it away and isolate it away,” it said. Furthermore, there is an obligation to report in order to keep an overview of the course of the disease. Rauch told the “Tiroler Tageszeitung” that the gas crisis, rising prices and the war in the Ukraine were already a difficult situation for the population in the fall.
“I am Minister of Social Affairs and Health, so the social issue and the question of social upheavals concern me at least as intensively as the Corona crisis,” Rauch told the newspaper.
Rauch referred to international role models such as Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, Spain and Switzerland. The quarantine there has been abolished for months without major consequences. The government also questioned the validity of the number of Covid patients in the hospitals more clearly than ever. A detailed analysis shows that only about half of the patients in question have Covid as their main diagnosis, said Katharina Reich, an expert at the Ministry of Health.
The traffic restrictions include a ban on entering infected visitors in hospitals as well as in nursing, disabled and spa facilities. As can also be seen from the draft available to the APA news agency, infected employees can continue to do their job in these places with a mask. Masks are not required outdoors and with a minimum distance of two meters.
To protect people who are particularly at risk, the risk group ordinance will be reinstated until October, as Labor Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP) said. This allows employees to be released who, despite being vaccinated, have serious problems or who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.