The coronavirus epidemic in Austria is “under control,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Sunday, attributing this positive development to the rapid implementation by the government of strict containment measures.
“We were one of the first countries in Europe to decide to have a complete lockdown, and I think it was extremely important that we were faster than the others and our reaction was harsher than in other countries. “other countries,” Kurz told CNN. “It was good to have done it because the situation in Austria is now under control. We only have 100 new infections a day,” he added.
According to the Austrian leader, the number of new cases of coronavirus in the country continues to fall, which has prompted the government to consider a gradual relaxation of the national lock.
“What we’re trying to do is reopen very slowly and very carefully. We do it step by step, always two weeks apart,” said Kurz. “It is important that we always have two weeks in between, which gives us the opportunity to watch the numbers very carefully and slow down our reopening plan and, if necessary, pull the emergency brake.”
Kurz noted that the government plans to allow the opening of small stores on Monday, extending to all stores by May 1; in mid-may, the government will seek to extend this measure to include restaurants, he added.
“Of course we will always have restrictions like social distance … people in stores and also, in the future, people in restaurants and elsewhere will have to wear masks,” said Kurz.