Under Austria’s new lockdown measures, which went into effect today, people are only able to leave their homes for specific reasons, such as shopping for essential goods, exercise, work or seeing close contacts, according to the ministry of health website.
But for those who exercise on the Alpine slopes, there is good news — ski lifts will be open through the lockdown, according to a ministry of health spokesperson. Winter sports enthusiasts will have to show proof of either vaccination or a certificate of recovery. FFP2 masks are also mandatory in closed-space lifts, like gondolas, according to a spokesperson for the ministry of arts, culture and sports, the spokesperson added.
Winter is just starting in the Alps, and there is limited snow on the slopes so far.
National lockdown: Austria on Monday became the first nation in the European Union to go into full lockdown this autumn.
The 20-day national lockdown came into force at midnight, meaning all people — vaccinated or not — can only leave their homes for essential reasons. The lockdown will be reviewed after an initial 10 days, as per law.
The tough new restrictions come as the country battles a surge in Covid-19 infections. Last week Austria’s seven-day incidence rate passed 1,000 per 1000,000 inhabitants for the first time during the pandemic, according to the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES).
On Tuesday, the country of roughly 9 million also reported 16,717 cases — its highest number of cases in a single day.
Just under 66% of the population are fully vaccinated — one of western Europe’s lower rates — according to figures from the Ministry of Health, last updated on Saturday. However the vaccination rate curve has been increasing in recent days, ministry data shows.