Austria lockdown: Is lockdown ending in Austria? Will UK follow suit?

Nations across the world have implemented strict social distancing measures to beat coronavirus. Austria will soon start reducing its measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, by allowing some non-essential stores to reopen.

Is lockdown ending in Austria?

Social distancing measures are still in place in Austria but are starting to be gradually relaxed.

DIY stores, garden centres and small shops will be allowed to open as of Tuesday.

The move is part of the Austrian Government’s plan to restart the Austrian economy, but social distancing measures will remain in place for the time being.

People will continue to be urged to stay home as much as possible, and wearing masks in pharmacies and supermarkets is compulsory.

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From May 1, other shops such as hairdressers and hotels could be allowed to operate again.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told the nation in an open letter on Saturday: “Economically, too, we want to come out of this crisis as quickly as possible and fight for every job in Austria.”

However, on the same day, he told national broadcaster ORF: “We are not out of the woods. The danger is still among us.”

The World Health Organization on Friday urged caution to nations planning on lifting restrictions, saying: “Lifting restrictions could lead to a deadly resurgence.”

Is lockdown ending elsewhere in Europe?

As of Tuesday, some businesses will be allowed to operate again in Italy, and Spain has also allowed some businesses to start work already.

Denmark is reopening schools for young children, and other countries have signalled they will follow suit in the coming weeks.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday evening France’s lockdown will remain in place until May 11.

But after this date schools will begin to reopen, and France is aiming to increase testing by this point so all with COVID-19 symptoms can be tested.

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When will the UK lockdown end?

A review of the current lockdown measures in the UK is expected to conclude later this week.

However at a coronavirus daily briefing on Monday, April 13, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab made it clear it is too early for the advice to change.

Mr Raab said the UK has not yet “passed the peak” of the coronavirus outbreak.

He said: “We are doing a lot of work in government to be guided by the science and the medical advice that you get and I think that, until you have got that evidence, we will be getting ahead of ourselves.

“There will come a time in the future where we can talk about relaxation or transition but we are not there now.”

Although testing is not yet widespread in the UK, coronavirus cases have continued to increase every day.

As of April 13, there have been 88,621 positive cases of coronavirus in the UK.

Of those hospitalised with the virus, 11,329 people have died.

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