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Homeland Security

Austria to Ease Coronavirus Lockdown Friday

By VOA News April 28, 2020

Austrian officials announced Tuesday the nation will lift lockdown measures effective Friday, May 1, making it among the first European countries to do so.

At a news conference in Vienna, Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober said the COVID-19 figures are such that the lockdown can be allowed run out.

Austria has been under lockdown for about seven weeks, during which people were only allowed to leave their homes for designated reasons.

As of Friday, people will still need to maintain a one-meter distance from each other in public, and people will be required to wear a face mask in public.

In another move, Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Koestinger announced restaurants will reopen May 15.

She said up to four adults will be allowed to sit at the same table and the one-meter distance rule will still apply.

According to the ministry of health, current infection rates are well below one percent, making a slow reopening of the economy possible.

As of Tuesday, Austria's health ministry reports the nation has 15,256 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 569 deaths.

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